BRADFORD – Bradford found some areas in which it needs to improve during the Railroaders’ scrimmage against Cross County Conference rival National Trail on Friday night.
“We’re looking for effort. We’re looking to see what they understand and what we need to improve on – we found a lot of that today, some things we need to improve on,” Bradford’s first-year head football coach Chris Hawk said. “We found out that we need to make some improvements.”
Following the scrimmage Hawk planned to watch film so he could dissect the Railroaders’ play, but his first impression was that they needed to improve on their knowledge and conditioning.
“I think we need to know what we’re doing a little bit better,” Bradford’s new coach said. “We need to continue working on our conditioning. We run a no-huddle (offense), and I think right now coming out it’s been so cool that when we actually get a day that’s not 70-some degrees I think it showed with them.”
While the Railroaders’ performance left room for improvement, Hawk also saw some things he liked such as the play of the defense even when it was asked to defend deep in its own territory.
“I think we held pretty well,” he said. “We bent a few times. I put them in a bad spot going for it, but it was a scrimmage game. We talked about it. With it being a scrimmage game let’s go for it on fourth down.”
Friday’s scrimmage began with both teams’ offenses getting the ball for 10-play series, during which both teams were able to score once.
Later in the scrimmage the squads went to a down-and-distance format like a real game.
After forcing a National Trail punt, Bradford turned the ball over on downs deep in its own territory. Hawk decided to go for it on fourth down instead of punting on that possession to challenge his team.
The Railroaders didn’t get the first, and that set up a short touchdown drive by the Blazers. National also Trail added one more touchdown during the down-and-distance portion of the night and intercepted a Bradford pass.
Bradford and National Trail will not play each other during the 2017 regular season because of the CCC’s new scheduling format. Bradford reentered the league for football this year along with Tri-Village and Fort Loramie to form a 12-team conference. Each CCC team will play eight conference games. Bradford won’t play Fort Loramie, National Trail or Twin Valley South during the regular season.