BRADFORD — The Railroaders cruised to a 34-0 halftime lead then added 14 more points in the 2nd half matching Bridgeport for a 48-14 win. The Bulldogs were coming from the eastern part of Ohio across the river from Wheeling, West Virginia.
Coming into the contest both teams had a 2-1 record … but it was the first half play of the Railroaders who were able keep Bridgeport off balance using multiple weapons through the air and on the ground to build a big lead. The Bulldogs would finally get on the board in the 2nd half, but it wasn’t enough to catch Bradford.
Bradford received the opening kick-off and got a nice 44-yard return from senior Garrett Trevino near midfield. Senior Tucker Miller had a couple of good rushes on the ground and eventually scored the game’s first touchdown on a 3-yard run. Owen Canan converted the two-point run for an early 8-0 lead at 9:49.
Bridgeport would show they could move the ball on offense throughout the game, but the Bradford defense would be opportunistic in the game including an interception past midfield by junior Griffin Trevino to stop the Bulldogs drive.
It took Bradford just 5 plays and facing a 3rd and 4 situation Tucker Miller went around the left side and outran everyone for a 30-yard score pushing the Roader advantage 14-0.
Bridgeport moves the ball into Bradford territory on their next possession .. but the Roaders stiffened and took over own over around the 10-yard line.
Owen Canan threw a 35-yard strike down the sideline to senior Trey Schmelzer and the duo was just getting warmed up. A couple of plays later Canan took the ball up the middle by breaking a couple of tackles scoring on a 32-yard touchdown. He then threw to John Troxel and the Railroaders led 22-0 at 8:37 in the second quarter.
The Canan to Schmelzer combination struck gold on the next drive with an over the back shoulder catch by Schmelzer for a 34-yard TD.
The Bulldogs looked like they may have scored with just under a minute to go with a pass into the corner of the endzone but ultimately the ball was wrestled away by Garrett Trevino his 2nd of the half to negate the score.
But it was enough time for Bradford to add one more score this time it was Tucker Miller on a pitch and then pulling up throwing a strike downfield for a quick-hitter to Schmelzer to cap the first half with a big play 50-yard strike to end the half 34-0 for the home team.
Bridgeport was able to finally get in the endzone to start the 2nd half on a 2-yard plunge.
Canan answered with a 27-yard QB keeper to make the score 40-8.
The Bulldogs were able to get another rushing TD in the 4th quarter but once again Bradford had the answer this time it was a 60-yard hook up in the air from Canan to Hudson Hill to complete the game scoring 48-14.
It was an historic win marking the 1st ever for Bradford on their new field much to the delight of the faithful fans in attendance.
We’ve focused all week long preparing for what we felt was a winnable game and the got the job
A lot of the momentum Bradford had in this game came from their defense. All year long, they have stepped up when they needed to.
While the offense was being productive 411 total yards for Bradford, it was the defense that actually shined for much of the game.
“Bend but don’t’ break,” that’s been our philosophy, Bandstra stated.
Bridgeport put up 301 total yards and a lot of teams would take those numbers and win games with that … but the Railroaders made key stops and pick-up big turnovers 2 fumble recoveries and 2 interceptions when they needed them to keep the Bulldogs out of the endzone.
Defensively it was Trey Schmelzer with 14 Tackles, Tucker Miller and Landon Wills each had 11 to lead the way.
Offensively Miller and Canan each had 3 TD’s. Miller had two on the ground and one in the air while Canan had two in the air and one ground. Canan also went 9-for-11 passing for 179 yards While Miller had 88 yards on 8 rushes Trey Schmelzer had 2 TD grabs and Hudson Hill one.
“Bradford has great athletes that know how make winning plays, we are glad to get this win and I’m really proud of the way our guys are playing,” Bandstra concluded
Bradford improves to 3-1 overall and will host 2-1 East Tartans of Sciotoville Ohio next Friday.