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                                 New_Football_Helmet_22014 Highlights

Bears Almost Topple Toppers


Senior Daniel Clark goes up and over a topper defender 

by JOE CANNON Banner Assistant Sports Editor

JOHNSON CITY — Bradley Central's football team sure knows how to make an exit.

For the second straight year, the Bears went into the TSSAA playoffs with a .500 record and were a huge underdog against a highly-ranked opening round opponent.

Just as they did last year against eventual state champion Maryville, Bradley gave sixth-ranked Science Hill (10-1) all it could handle for 48 minutes in a 59-47 shootout Friday on Steve Spurrer Field in Johnson City.

"I couldn't be prouder of a team," proclaimed head coach Damon Floyd after his ninth sleuth of Bears put up more than 500 yards of offense and seven touchdowns. "We came up here and let it all hang out. We left nothing in the bag."

"We're disappointed we lost. We came up here to win. We knew we'd have trouble stopping their offense (which is the third-best in the state averaging more than 50 points a game), but we felt like we could compete with them and that's what we did."

Unfortunately for the Black-and-Gold, the high-octane Hilltopper offense exploded for 636 yards and eight touchdowns to advance to the second round.

Like the visually-handicapped Mr. Magoo cartoon character with a rhyming last name, quarterback Malik McGue continually turned difficult situations into stunning plays while accounting for 440 of Science Hill's yards. The senior's career-night included 275 yards on 28 carries, including four trips to the end zone, plus he completed 13-of-20 passes for 165 yards and two more scores.

"We knew from what we'd seen on film, we were going to have trouble stopping him," remarked Floyd. "We hit him 15 times in the backfield and he got away. He's only 5-foot-7, but he's extremely quick and hard to bring down."

While the slippery signal caller garnered most of the attention, the night's first score went to junior running back Justin Bedard who broke free on a 49-yard dash to paydirt on the fifth Hilltopper snap of the evening.

The game's next three scores went to the Bears on a 14-yard passed from Cole Copeland to senior Christian Hamilton, and a two-yard run by the sophomore quarterback for a 13-7 advantage when the first quarter horn sounded.

Bradley stretched their lead to its highest point on the first play of the second frame.

After stopping Science Hill on a fourth-and-1 play, the Bears took possession at their own 41. Hamilton then turned what looked like an eight-yard loss on a failed halfback pass into a brilliant 44-yard run that included several spins, broken tackles and a hurdle to the 'Topper 14. Copeland carried the rock across the goal line on the next play for a 12-point edge.

The hosts answered with three straight scores of their own, including five- and 51-yard pass plays from McGue to Elijah Mathes to cap 75- and 61-yard drives.

McGue wrapped up a 236-yard half (99 rushing and 137 passing) with a two-yard plunge to top off a 67-yard march with 1:54 left before the break.

Despite going from a dozen-point advantage to trailing by nine, the undaunted Bears retook the lead with a pair of touchdowns in the final 18.8 seconds of the opening half.

The first came on 62-yard march that included 44- and 17-yard passes from Copeland to junior Tyler Carpenter, the latter of which found paydirt.

On the ensuing pooch kickoff, the 'Toppers mishandled the ball and Bear junior Ryan Still pounced on the loose pigskin at the 40-yard line with 14.4 ticks showing on the clock.

Bear offensive coordinator Keith Freeman called for a flea-flicker pass, but after Carpenter got the ball on a reverse he was hit immediately by a defender.

The junior all-around athlete was able to break free and chuck the throw to fellow receiver Daniel Clark at the 10-yard line. The senior had to snap the ball off a defender's helmet and out battle him for possession. Clark then fended off another would-be tackler to fight his way into the end zone with no time left on the clock.

Senior Logan Snyder's PAT kick capped a 41-point quarter and put the Bears up 33-28 at the intermission.

The third quarter belonged to the home team as Science Hill overcame having a 60-yard kickoff return wiped out by a penalty and then another five-yard flag before getting off a snap.

The 'Toppers used 11 plays to cover the needed 85 yards with McGue carrying the ball over from the 4 to retake the lead.

After forcing the Bears to go three-and-out, McGue found the end zone again from 10 yards out to cap a seven-play, 55-yard march to push the difference back to nine points.

The next Bradley drive stalled at the Hilltopper 38, and three plays later McGue was off to the races once again, but this time Still was able to catch him for a TD-saving tackle at the 6-yard line after a 41-yard gain. Inspired, the Bear defense rose to the occasion, forcing the hosts to settle for a 26-yard Alex Rinella field goal three plays later.

After a scoreless third quarter, the Bear offense cranked back up in the final frame finding the end zone twice. The first on a seven-play, 67-yard drive, capped by a 21-yard pass from Copeland to Hamilton with 9:12 to go.

After the hosts answered in just two plays on a 39-yard dash by McGue, the second Bradley drive took 13 plays and more than five minutes off the clock with Copeland plunging in from the 1.

Down by five points with just under two minutes remaining, the Bears were on the verge of getting a chance for the win when Science Hill lined up for its first punt of the game, but were able to draw an offsides penalty to get a first down and retain possession.

Three plays later, Bedard, who had scored the night's first touchdown, added the final one on a 33-yard run to give him 117 yards on just 10 carries for the game.

Despite trailing by a dozen points with only 87 ticks remaining, the Bears weren't ready to throw in the towel and marched from their own 12 to the 'Topper 47 before the final horn sounded.

"This (the strong showing) is nothing new to Bradley. We've proved over and over we can play with the top teams in the state," declared Floyd. "We only have 11 seniors (compared to 28 for SH), so we've got a lot of good players coming back."

Copeland finished the night with 124 yards and three scores on 23 carries, plus he complete 26-of-38 passes for another 287 yards and a trio of touchdowns. He wrapped up his first season at the Bear helm with 3,177 total yards, finding the end zone 30 times on a dozen carries and 18 aerials.

"The second half of the season you could see the light go on for Cole as he began to understand what we were needing out of him," praised Floyd in reference to the Bears' three-game winning streak during which they scored 118 points.

Hamilton had another 100-yard night with 53 yards on 10 carries and another 61 on four catches, two of which found the end zone. The speedster went over the 1,000-yard mark (576 rushing, 437 receiving) to wrap up his prep career.

Carpenter, who for the second time in the last few weeks not only caught a TD pass, but also threw one to Clark, added to his area-leading receiving numbers with 85 yards on four receptions pushing him to 848 and eight scores on the campaign.

Clark surpassed the century mark Friday evening with 106 yards on nine catches, upping his season tally to 587 and eight TDs as well.

Bryan Adams wrapped up his final Bear season with seven catches for 57 yards, pushing him to 248 on 31 receptions this year.

The game marked just the third meeting between the teams, which has now produced 278 combined points. The Bears won by scores of 78-20 and 50-20 in 1999 and 2000.

It also served as a preview for what's to come for Bradley, as Science Hill will be one of seven new league opponents for the Bears beginning next season.

As part of the "Super 32" the two squads separated by 190 miles, will be joined by Kingsport Dobyns-Bennett, Jefferson County, Maryville, William Blount, Hardin Valley and Bearden in Region 1-6A according to the TSSAA recommendations that came out Friday.

Science Hill will face arch-rival Dobyns-Bennett (9-2) Friday in a rematch of last week's Big Seven Conference championship game, which the 'Toppers won 49-35. The ninth-ranked Indians punch their ticket for the second round with a 35-31 over Morristown East Friday.

The winner will more than likely face top-ranked Maryville (11-0), which won its 26th straight game Friday with a 48-0 shutout of Walker Valley.

The 14-time state champion Rebels will take on Sevier County (8-3), a 28-20 victor over Hardin Valley, Friday. Maryville thumped the Smoky Bears 38-3 during the regular season.

Read more: Cleveland Daily Banner - Bears almost topple Toppers


Bears Punch Ticket, Defeat Hurricanes



Tyler Carpenter grabs a Touchdown catch for the Bears

by JOE CANNON Banner Assistant Sports Editor

Just like in any good scary movie, Bradley Central produced a surprise ending, this one featuring a deadly giant "spider," that doomed East Hamilton's hopes of having a Happy Halloween.

After three quarters in a hibernating Bear costume, the Black-and-Gold squad came out of a slumber to find the end zone three times in the final 12 minutes to pull off the stunning 27-24 victory over the visiting Hurricanes and secure a spot in the TSSAA playoffs for the fifth straight year.

"It's great to be a Bear tonight," proclaimed proud Bradley head coach Damon Floyd. "We stole this one. We've been saying all year the importance of holding the rope and finishing. We did that tonight. We held on and found a way to win."

With East Hamilton scoring on the game's opening drive, the Bears trailed the entire game until sophomore QB Cole Copeland hit junior defensive lineman Brett "Spider" Brown with a 6-yard touchdown pass with 40 seconds on the clock to pull out the victory.

"We've always run the ball when we put in our 'heavy' (short-yardage) package, but we've been working on throwing this pass out of it for three weeks now, and it worked great," related Floyd. "We caught them (EH) off guard with that pass."

"It couldn't have happened to a better kid," the coach said of the 6-foot-4, 195-pounder's first varsity catch. Brown also had a key block of a field goal attempt in the third quarter, plus a big tackle for loss earlier in the game. "He's a great kid that works really hard every day in practice. He's very unselfish and a great team player."

With the victory Bradley continued a three-game winning streak to finish at 5-5 on the year and claim third place in the District 5-AAA race with a 3-3 mark.

Third-ranked Ooltewah sealed its second straight district championship by wrapping up an undefeated season with a 30-12 win over McMinn County (3-7, 3-3) Thursday. Cleveland High (5-5, 4-2) wrapped up the 5-AAA runner-up spot, as well as a playoff spot last Friday and has a bye this week.

The final league game will be played this evening in the "The Corral" as Walker Valley (4-5, 1-4) entertains Soddy-Daisy (4-5, 1-4) with both teams chasing a postseason berth.

East Hamilton (2-8, 2-4) took the opening kickoff Thursday and drove 70 yards in a dozen plays for the game's first score — a 3-yard plunge by David Whiteside, who carried the rock for 137 yards and all three Hurricane touchdowns on the evening.

After a fumble on the ensuing kickoff pinned the Bear offense at its own 9-yard line and a 5-yard loss on the first play set up a three-and-out, the visitors started their second scoring drive just 40 yards from paydirt.

Despite needing just two plays to get into the "Red Zone," East Hamilton had to settle for a 35-yard field goal by Cooper Lofton after three straight incomplete passes, the second of which Bear junior defensive back Trevon Ware broke up in the end zone.

After the ensuing kickoff went into the end zone, Bradley started on its own 20 and marched the needed distance in 10 plays, the last of which was a 43-yard bob-and-weave by Copeland through the 'Cane defense before reaching the pylon before being shoved out of bounds, on the second play of the second quarter. Senior Logan Snyder tacked on the extra point to trim the difference to just three points, which is where it stood at the intermission.

Bradley's offensive struggles continued after the break with a three-and-out, and a bad snap on the punt gave the visitors the ball at the Bear 42.

After moving into "Red Zone" thanks to the running of Whiteside, the Bear defense stiffened and forced another field goal attempt, but "Spider" Brown was able to get one of his arms on the ball just as it came off the kicker's foot, and a Bradley teammate recovered the ball at the Bear 33.

The Hurricane defense responded by dealing another three-and-out and this time the skipped snap resulted in a 1-yard punt, setting the visitors up on the Bear 36. Three plays later Whiteside carried the mail in from two yards out.

Bradley answered with its second 80-yard drive on the contest, this one taking 14 plays, with Copeland scrambling away from pressure before firing the ball into the end zone, where a leaping Tyler Carpenter pulled it down for the score on the second play of the fourth quarter.

East Hamilton responded by returning the ensuing pooch kick to midfield, and needed just five plays to find paydirt again. A 10-yard Whiteside run with 9;25 to go in the game gave the visitors their third double-digit lead of the night.

After the teams exchanged three-and-outs, Bradley was pinned on its own 10-yard line, but needed just one play to close the gap back to three points.

Copeland hit Daniel Clark with a 20-yard pass over the middle and the senior wideout shook off a pair of would-be tacklers while covering the final 70 yards to the end zone. Snyder split the uprights on the PAT with 5:42 remaining.

After a costly penalty on the ensuing kickoff moved the ball to near midfield and the visitors moved to the Bear 26 in just three plays, Bradley's defense came up big when 'Cane quarterback Matt Milita put the ball on the ground and junior Zack Peak came up with the fumble recovery at the 3:12 mark.

The hosts were able to move the ball in 10 plays to the Hurricane 6, where Floyd put in his "heavy" formation to set up the game-winning score.

Instead of handing the ball off to Carpenter to run behind the big blockers bunched together at the center of the field, Copeland pulled off the fake while Brown, who had lined up as a tight end, slipped across the goal line and pulled in the pass for the score with 40.6 seconds left.

With the snap on the extra point attempt skipping once again, the Bears were up by just three points, and with East Hamilton having a strong-legged kicker in Lofton, the game wasn't over.

Milita broke free for a 27-yard run on the first play after the ensuing kickoff and then added 10 more on a pass to Whiteside and a short run himself to get the ball to the Bear 29, forcing Floyd to call a timeout with 16.7 on the clock.

Wanting to try to get a little closer for a potential game-tying field goal, East Hamilton went to the air again, but this time Carpenter came away with the interception at the 10-yard line and returned it past the midfield stripe to seal the surprise victory.

"We came up with some big plays when we needed them most," declared an exuberant Coach Floyd after the contest. "This was Senior Night and our seniors wanted to make it memorable. We did."

Copeland finished the night with 120 yards on 18 carries, plus completed 17-of-25 passes for another 221 yards.

Carpenter pulled in five passes for 61 yards, had the 43-yard interception return, plus completed a 10-yard pass to Sophomore Cason Still on a fake punt play that was one of two fourth-down conversions on the scoring drive he capped with his 17-yard reception early in the fourth quarter.

Senior Bryan Adams had a half dozen catches for 49 yards in his final high school game at Bear Stadium.

Milita, the 'Cane's leading running back the last two seasons before forced into the QB role due to injuries this year, finished with 107 yards on a dozen carries, but was also sacked for a 15-yard loss by Clark and freshman Henley Headrick. He completed just 6-of-14 passes for 54 yards.

"Give East Hamilton credit. They hung in there and gave us a tough game," declared Floyd. "They had turned the ball over 36 times in nine games, but didn't turn the ball over to us until they did it twice in the final three-and-a-half minutes."

Bradley will find out its destination for the opening round of the playoffs on Saturday when the TSSAA releases the postseason brackets.

Depending on the results of some games to be played tonight, chances are the Bears will be a No. 8 seed and may be heading to either top-ranked Maryville for the second straight year or to Murfreesboro to take on second-ranked Blackman to open the playoffs.

Read more: Cleveland Daily Banner - Spider sparks Bears to playoff berth

Bears Outgun Trojans



Cole Copeland runs past a host of Trojans

by JOE CANNON Banner Assistant Sports Editor

SODDY-DAISY — The expected District 5-AAA shootout at Soddy-Daisy Friday evening got really exciting down the stretch with half of the game's 70 points put on the scoreboard in the final quarter.

After trailing 14-7 at the intermission and 21-14 when the third frame ended, the host Trojans evened the score early in the fourth quarter, but Bradley Central answered with a trio of touchdowns in the game's final 8:11 to claim a 42-28 victory.

"We're really clicking offensively right now," proclaimed head coach Damon Floyd after his team has put 91 points and 969 yards of offense in the books the last two weeks.

"This team has really come together the last few weeks. We faced some controversy midway through the season (during which three senior starters left the squad), and the guys who have stuck with us have really bonded together. We're executing and making plays," declared the veteran Bradley mentor. "The mood and attitude of the team is much better. Winning helps that as well."

With back-to-back victories over McMinn County (49-32) and Soddy-Daisy snapping a four-game skid, the Bears have put themselves back into playoff contention.

Currently listed by the TSSAA as the final team that would make the Class 6A 32-team field should the playoff begin today, Bradley (4-5, 2-3 District 5-AAA) will look to solidify its fifth straight postseason spot when East Hamilton (2-7, 2-3) comes to Bear Stadium for the regular season finale Thursday evening. The TSSAA will announce the full playoff brackets Saturday morning.

Knowing Soddy-Daisy (4-5, 1-4) was averaging more than 31 points a game in its previous eight contests, the Bear coaches knew it would take another strong offensive output to get their 22nd victory in 36 meetings with the Trojans.

After the opening drive of the game ended in a missed field goal attempt, Soddy's defense forced the Bears to go three-and-out before the potent Trojan offense made the most of its second chance with a seven-play, 59-yard drive. Senior quarterback Hunter Maynor hit classmate Blake Smith for a 23-yard scoring strike with 2:41 left in the opening frame.

Bradley finally got on the board midway through the second quarter. Getting pinned back on their own 9 after a 71-yard punt by Trojan Justin Cooke, the Bears swiftly moved the ball down the field.

Sophomore signal caller Cole Copeland opened the march with a 27-yard bob-and-weave through the Soddy defense. Senior Christian Hamilton followed with an 18-yard sweep of his own to move the ball across the midfield stripe.

Three plays later, Copeland hit a streaking Tyler Carpenter on a post pattern for a 47-yard scoring connection before senior Logan Snyder tied the game with a PAT with 9:25 remaining in the half.

After the Bear defense came up with a three-and-out of its own, the Black-and-Gold offense chewed the final seven minutes off the clock with another long scoring drive.

Starting on its own 11 after a 42-yard Cooke punt, Bradley took 17 snaps, overcoming a pair of penalties, a sack and a 10-yard loss on a running play before reaching into its bag of tricks for the touchdown with just under nine seconds remaining.

Faced with a second-and-19, Copeland swung a lateral pass to Carpenter, who in turn pulled up and threw a strike to senior Daniel Clark in the end zone. Snyder split the uprights for the second of a half dozen times on the evening to allow the Bears to go to the locker room with a seven-point edge.

Getting the ball to open the second half, Bradley kept the momentum going using a dozen plays to march 72 yards to pay dirt again. Faced with a third-and-9 at the Trojan 20, Copeland scrambled away from pressure and found senior Tanner Cox in the corner of the end zone for the score after having burnt almost another 5 1/2 minutes off the clock.

The quick-strike Trojan offense fired back after a kick return to near midfield. Needing just four plays (one of which was an incomplete pass) to answer, junior Christian Bell scored on a 30-yard jaunt at the 4:56 mark of the third quarter.

After a failed fake punt attempt on the ensuing possession, Soddy was able to even the score with a nine-play, 56-yard drive. Maynor hit junior Tre Carter from eight yards out on a fourth-down play just three snaps into the final frame.

Undaunted, Bradley reloaded and retook the lead three minutes later when Hamilton danced in from 19 yards out to cap a six-play, 65-yard march.

On the first play after the ensuing kickoff, Soddy tried to hit a quick home run from its own 31, but Bear defensive back Zack Peak picked off the bomb at the Bradley 25.

The Bear offense quickly covered the needed 75 yards to pay dirt with Copeland making runs of 25 and 11 yards, plus hitting Clark on quick swing passes that went for eight and five yards. On what looked like the third swing pass to Clark, Copeland faked the throw and then dropped the ball into the waiting arms of Carpenter, who was behind the defender down the left sideline for the 31-yard TD catch at the 6:33 mark.

Not willing to roll over, Soddy came back with another drive to the end zone, this one covering 65 yards on eight plays with Maynor and Smith hooking up again for an 11-yard TD toss with 4:07 on the clock.

After cutting the lead back to a single score, the Trojans helped Bradley put the game away with a failed onside kick, plus a pair of 15-yard penalties.

Keeping the ball on the ground to run the clock, the Bears used eight plays to go the 55 yards to pay dirt with Copeland carrying the ball over from the 3 for the game's final touchdown with just 71 ticks left.

Soddy did make one last effort to score, somehow getting in nine plays in the final 1:11 but Carpenter ended the threat with an interception in the end zone on the game's last play.

"We weren't pleased with our overall defensive effort again this week (giving up 300 yards and four scores after McMinn had put up 415 yards and 32 points the week before), but we were able to make them score by driving the ball, rather than big plays," commented Coach Floyd. "I felt we did a good job of keeping their (SD) offense off the field."

Bradley ran 65 plays on the night, gaining 219 yards on 41 rushes and another 255 through the air, completing 20-of-24 passes.

The Trojans only snapped the ball 53 times, with 19 carries for just 106 yards, plus connecting on 22-of-34 aerials for 194 more.

As he has done all season, Copeland once again paced the Bear offense, gaining 134 yards on 25 carries and completing 19-of-22 passes for 226 yards. He had a hand in a trio of touchdowns — rushing for a score and tossing two more.

"Cole is making really good decisions right now," praised Floyd. "Our offensive line is blocking well, which is helping Cole, Hamilton, Carpenter and Clark make big plays."

Carpenter pulled in nine passes for 135 yards and a pair of TDs, plus he threw the 29-yard scoring pass to Clark and picked off the interception to end the game. The outcome marked Carpenter's fourth 100-yard receiving tally of the season and second multi-touchdown contest.

Hamilton finished with 90 yards on 14 rushes and a catch, while Clark pulled in a half dozen passes for 70 yards. Both found the end zone.

The Bear "D" held Maynor, who has 2,589 passing yards on the season and had been averaging almost 300 yards a game, to just 194, while completing 22-of-34 and tossing a pair of picks.

He was sacked three times, once by seniors Brett Brown and DJ Moyse, another by senior Will Robbins and the last time by junior Ryan Still and Moyse.

After being held to just 20 yards in the opening half, Bell finished with 116 yards for the Trojans on a dozen carries and a pair of pass receptions.

Read more: Cleveland Daily Banner - Bears outgun Trojans keep playoff hopes alive

Bears Beat McMinn County


Christian Hamilton takes the handoff from Cole Copeland as Will Robbins

makes a key block

by JOE CANNON Banner Assistant Sports Editor


ATHENS — After a well documented season-long struggle in the Red Zone, the Bradley Central offense came out of hibernation Friday evening.

Scoring on their first seven possessions, the Bears found pay dirt all four times they were inside the McMinn County 20, plus struck from distance on three other plays in a 49-32 shootout with the Tribe.

"Our players made the plays — we executed. We had the best run blocking we've had in years, plus we made some people miss and out ran some others," proclaimed head coach Damon Floyd after his Bears rushed for more than 400 yards while scoring as many points in each of the first two quarters as they had in both of their previous two victories.

"Everything came together offensively. We were able to get the momentum early and kept it going," added the veteran Bear mentor. "I'm so proud of these guys who have stuck it out. They know they can depend on each other and it showed on the field."

Matching 21-point totals in the first two frames led Bradley to a 20-point halftime advantage on its way to its highest tally of the season. It is just the second victory for the Bears over their oldest rival in the last 14 Black-and-Gold meetings.

Bradley now holds a 49-39-3 edge in the state's second longest continuous rivalry, having been played every year since McMinn County began its football program in 1927. The 1916 game listed in the Bradley history was actually played against a team probably made up of Tennessee Wesleyan College players.

With both clinging to TSSAA playoff hopes, Bradley will head to Soddy-Daisy Friday evening for a match up of 3-5 teams that are both 1-3 in District 5-AAA play.

The Trojans came out on the short end of a 43-27 tally against East Hamilton this week, and like the Bears are still in the hunt for a postseason spot. Bradley will close out the regular season on Halloween when East Hamilton (2-6, 2-3) comes to Bear Stadium.

Having scored just 87 points in its first seven outings this season, the Bear offense wasted little time in finding the end zone Friday in Athens.

Sophomore quarterback Cole Copeland connected with senior Daniel Clark on the game's fifth play from scrimmage for a 53-yard touchdown strike with just 129 ticks gone off the game clock. Senior Logan Snyder came on for what turned out to be the first of seven extra point kicks on the night, to go with eight kick offs.

After having put up 62 points in their previous two outings, the Cherokees went on the warpath as well, needing just seven plays to cover 57 yards to pay dirt themselves as junior running back DJ Kimpson plunged in from a yard out at the 8:02 mark. McMinn took the lead when senior QB Corbin Powers took the unexpected snap on a trick point-after attempt and ran it in for the two-point conversion and an 8-7 advantage.

The host's lead was short lived as Christian Hamilton took the handoff on the first play after the ensuing kickoff and burst through the Tribe defense for a 77-yard scoring dash to put the Bears on top to stay. The senior running back collected 174 yards on 18 carries in the contest.

Bradley's defense set up the next score when junior Jamey Billups stripped the ball loose from a Cherokee receiver and classmate Trevon Ware pounced on it at the Tribe 43.

Seven plays later, Copeland, who had 220 rushing yards on 20 carries, plus completed 7-of-11 passes for another 93, took the ball across the goal line himself from 13 yards out and Snyder tacked on the extra point with 4:36 still left in the opening frame.

Not willing to roll over, McMinn (2-6, 2-2), which will host Walker Valley (4-4, 1-3) Friday, answered with a scoring drive of its own.

Although Kimpson broke free on the first play after the kick off, Bear junior Tyler Carpenter was able to make a TD-saving tackle 35 yards downfield. Ten plays later, including a pair of fourth-down conversions, Powers finished off the march with a six-yard dash and Liam O'Malley cut the difference back to seven points with 14 seconds on the clock.

Bradley's offense kept clicking on the ensuing series, this time using a 11 plays to cover 62 yards, with Copeland once again carrying the ball over from five yards out and Snyder splitting the uprights with 8:22 to go in the first half.

The stubborn McMinn offense refused to go away and once again put together a march of its own, going 68 yards on a dozen plays with Powers breaking the plane from a yard out and O'Malley true on the PAT.

Bradley chewed up most of the remaining four minutes of the first half with a 12-play, 76-yard drive of its own, with Hamilton ripping off 34- and 18-yard runs before Carpenter bulled in from the 3 with just 27.6 seconds showing on the clock, but the Bears weren't through scoring before the intermission.

After recovering a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and getting a pass interference call against the hosts on the first play, Copeland and Clark hooked up again, this time for 12 yards with 9.5 ticks remaining.

The first half fireworks still weren't done as McMinn once again fumbled the kickoff return, but was able to fall on the ball on its own 29. The final play of the half saw Kimpson, who finished with 149 yards on the night, break free once again, but was stopped 21 yards down field as the horn sounded.

Trailing 42-22, the Tribe opened second half with a pair of 74-yard scoring drives, the first ending in a 30-yard field goal by O'Malley and the other seeing Powers connected with Dimese Bradley on a nine-yard scoring toss.

While the Cherokees ran 23 of the first 24 plays from scrimmage of the second half, the one Bradley snap, after the field goal, was a 70-yard run by Copeland for the final Bear score of the night.

Not throwing a pass after the intermission, Bradley was able to keep the clock running by keeping the ball on the ground, while the defense came up with a pair of big fourth-quarter stops.

The first came after the hosts had marched from their own 18 to the Bear Red Zone at the 19 before Billups and freshman Henley Headrick teamed up to not only sack Powers, but force him to leave the game with a bloodied nose. One the very next play the Tribe's backup QB fired an interception into the hands of Clark.

The second came on the next McMinn possession. Despite Powers back under center, a trio of incomplete passes and an 11-yard sack by sophomore Hunter Duggan and senior Brett Brown put the final nails in the coffin.

The teams combined for 38 first downs (19 apiece) and 910 yards of offense.

Copeland and Hamilton posting 487, while Powers and Kimpson combining for 392.

Dimese Bradley finished with 138 total yards with 105 on a half dozen catches and 33 on seven carries for the Tribe.

Clark pulled in five passes for 79 yards for the Bears.

Read more: Cleveland Daily Banner - Bears come out of hibernation


J.V. Bears Tame Mustangs

Jake Pressley muscles his way to a first down against the Mustangs

by Tyler Graves Banner Intern
After the Walker Valley varsity football team came up with a big upset over Bradley Central Friday, both team's junior varsity squads faced off Monday night. This time Bradley maintained control for much of the game to come up with a 32-8 victory.

"I'm very proud of our guys," says Bradley assistant coach Todd Stevison. "They've played very hard, and we've really come together as a team in unity."

Both teams stood strong defensively to begin the game as the first five possessions by both teams were stalled.

The beginning of the second quarter saw the first score of the game by Bradley. Starting at their own 49-yard line, the Bears capitalized on an eight-play drive, led by running backs Lameric Tucker and Cason Still.

Tucker rushed for an 11-yard gain on a crucial third down early in the drive. Still added runs of 14 and five yards, including a four-yard touchdown run to finish the drive.

Bradley caught Walker Valley by surprise on the ensuing kickoff with an onside kick that was recovered by the Bears.

The following drive was very sloppy as a total of five penalties were called between the teams. However, after facing a third-and-13, Bear quarterback Jake Pressley connected with Swan Parker for a 39-yard touchdown pass.

Despite a missed extra point, the touchdown pass increased Bradley's lead to 13-0.

After the ensuing Walker Valley drive resulted in a turnover on downs, Pressley threw another touchdown pass late in the second quarter. This time Pressley connected with Nick Howell for a 26-yard score and the first half ended with the Bears up 19-0.

After getting the ball to open the third quarter, Bradley's offense picked things up where it left off. On just the first play of the drive, Tucker ripped off a 62-yard touchdown to put the Bears up 25-0 early in the quarter.

Bradley's final score of the night came on the first play of the fourth quarter. Running back Devin Moore scored on a 1-yard rush to cap off a 13-play drive that began at their own 20 to make the score 32-0.

Pressley came up big in this drive completing three passes, including two for 11-yards each to Jay Pearson and Howell, as well as a 24-yard throw to wide receiver Jeffrey Brewer.

Stevison gave his team a lot of credit after seeing them improve each week since the beginning of the season.

"We didn't play very well the first game and lost. Since then we've been able to win a few in a row," Stevinson said. "I'm very proud of the way that they have corrected mistakes and come to work every day in practice to get better every single day. That's made our team better."

While Stevison was pleased with his team's performance, Walker Valley head coach Eric Swafford believed his team could've played better.

"I'm disappointed in the way we played," he said. I didn't think we came out and played to the best of our ability, but you've got to take you hats off to Bradley, they played a great game."

"Walker Valley has a great program. I have tons of respect for them, so we were just glad to come out here and get a win," Stevison said. "I'm just glad to see our guys finish and play hard to the end."

Despite the rough game for Walker Valley, the Mustangs came up with several big plays in the fourth quarter led by freshman running back Donell Armour.

After a Bradley fumble was recovered by the Mustangs, Armour carried the ball three times for 32 yards and a touchdown to put the Mustangs on the board.

After recovering the ensuing onside kick, Walker Valley drove down the field again. The drive was highlighted by a 45-yard pass from quarterback Noah Davis to Armour.

However, the Mustangs failed to score as the game ended with a Bradley win.

Read more: Cleveland Daily Banner - Bears beat Mustangs in junior varsity action









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Latest News

Coach Floyd would like to thank all

parents and players for making the

discount card sale a huge success.

With your hard work and dedication we

have sold 2000 cards. The money raised

will go towards helping build a new weight

room and covering the everyday costs of

running the program.

Bears Chosen for All-Star Game

Dee Crisp, Jordan Timmons and

Eduardo Trevino have been chosen to

play in this years Tn-GA All-Star Football

Classic. All three players will be

continuing their football carreer next year.

Crisp signed with Tusculum, Timmons

with Lindsey-Wilson and Trevino will be

a preferred walk-on at UTC. The game

will be played on June 7th at 7:30 pm at

Boyd Buchanan High School.

Past All-State Bradley Bears

We are in the process of updating

past All-State Players, this is our present

list. Please contact us if we have missed

any former All-State Players.

Bobby Butler (1945) Ray Woods (1948)

Ted Smith (1953) Jim Mavity (1955)

Jack Watson (1958) Don Sewell (1958)

Bill White (1959) Rex Dockery (1959)

Charles Snyder (1959)

Richard Davenport (1959)

Steve Sloan (1960 & 1961)

Bill Geren (1961) David Tyrrell (1961)

Andy Ballinger (1962) Bob Peterson (1962)

Bob Johnson (1963) Wayne McFarland (1971)

Mitch Lilly (1973) Dennis Carroll (1976)

Kinny Hooper (1978) Bobby McLemore (1978)

Chris White (1980) Jeff Lovingood (1982)

Blake Morris (2000)

Tucker Bolton (2010)

James Stovall (2010 & 2011)

Austin Sanders (2011 & 2012)


Bear's Win Number 1,000th Game

The Bradley Bears came away with a

victory over Soddy Daisy to win the

1,000 game played in the long history

of the Bradley Central High School

Football Program which began in 1916.

Thanks to all the former players, parents,

alumni and their families who celebrated

and participated in this momentous

occasion. There is nothing like the

Honered Tradition and Relentless Pride

of a Bradley Central High School Bear. 

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