BRADFORD – Bradford started off the 2016 football season with a 37-13 loss to Midwest Athletic Conference member New Bremen.
“I’ve got to be proud of the way our kids played,” Bradford’s first-year varsity head coach Dave McFeely said. “I think they gave us everything they had.”
Bradford and New Bremen started the game on Friday with the Cardinals taking a 2-0 lead after the Railroaders muffed a punt return near their own end zone.
The game then was delayed until Saturday morning because of lightning, and when play resumed Bradford found itself backed up against its own end zone, resulting in a second safety and a 4-0 deficit.
New Bremen’s defense and special teams continued to play strong with an interception returned for a touchdown putting the Cardinals up 10-0.
Bradford eventually got on the scoreboard with a long touchdown pass from Andy Branson to Hunter Penkal but found itself trailing 17-7 at halftime.
In the second half New Bremen pulled away and increases its lead to 37-7. The Railroaders scored the final points of the day with Dialaquan Millhouse taking a sweep for a touchdown, making it 37-13.
“They got some shots on him, but he was able to break them and got in the end zone,” McFeely said.
Ultimately a big factor in the outcome of the game was New Bremen’s depth, McFeely said.
“They were a good team,” he said. “They play in the MAC and so they’re used to playing tough games. They took a toll on us weather-wise and conditioning-wise because they were able to do a lot of two platooning-type stuff. It just took a toll in the game.
“Big difference is we had 26 kids running in and out, and they had 48. But that’s not an excuse. Our kids played hard. They did some things. They made some mistakes, but they did some things really well, too. Can’t complain with that.”
And while the Railroaders were out-manned, McFeely was happy to finish the game without any significant injuries.
“It was a good game for us,” he said. “We came out of it pretty healthy, which was a plus.”
Bradford will return to action on Friday at Troy Christian
“We just hope we can bounce back and be more competitive and get a ‘W’ next Friday night,” McFeely said.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.