Bradford falls in home opener to Cincinnati Country Day


By Drew Terhall

BRADFORD — The Railroaders got a chance to play on their brand new field for the first time on Aug. 25. They were not able to get the win over Cincinnati Country Day as they fell 33-6 to the Nighthawks.

All game long, Bradford had players in and out with various injuries. Head coach Nick Bandstra said some kids stepped up when their number was called and gave it their all.

“We had some injuries tonight and came in a little banged up. But our kids kept fighting,” Bandstra said.

By midway through the first quarter, Country Day had a 13-0 lead. Senior Parker Corbin found junior Bryce Snell for a two-yard touchdown pass. Corbin got an interception to set up the Nighthawks on the Bradford 16-yard line. Junior Lee Thomas scored from one-yard out.

The Railroaders started to move the ball down the field as the first quarter was winding down. Senior Trey Schmelzer had a 20-yard run to get onto the Nighthawks’ side of the field. He also caught a pass from junior Owen Canan for a first down to the 32-yard line.

But, Country Day forced a turnover. They drove down to the one-yard line and Corbin found Snell for another short yard touchdown pass.

Bradford hung in after giving up an onside kick after that play. They forced a fumble and later in the quarter got a fourth down stop to keep it a 20-0 game after the first half.

But on the first possession of the second half, Thomas scored a 57-yard touchdown to go up 27-0.

The Nighthawks went for the onside again after that score and regained possession. Nothing came out of that possession as senior Hudson Hill got an interception while Country Day was in the redzone.

In the final minutes of the third quarter, Bradford had the ball down to the four-yard line. They turned the ball over and Country Day took over.

They went on a 96-yard touchdown drive capped off by a seven-yard touchdown run by junior Elijah Guttman.

But as the game ended, Schmelzer ran in for a 50+ yard touchdown run to get the Railroaders on the board.

For Bandstra, that final touchdown showed what the Railroaders were capable of. They just need to find more consistency.

“It’s a great way to end. We saw parts where we could move the ball down the field. We got to be consistent. That was my message at halftime. At the end, we have to find that consistency,” Bandstra said.

Bradford is now 1-1 on the season. Bandstra said they will learn from this and move forward with any changes they feel they need to make after watching film.

For the Railroaders, they stood up against Country Day. There were times the Nighthawks wanted to put them away early, but the Railroaders didn’t let that happen.

At the end, Bandstra said he needs the team to play more consistent. Part of the inconsistency is from the lack of experience on the team, but they need to find it.

“I told our kids this week this is one of the best three teams we’re going to see all year. They’re here to play and we saw that on film. I’m glad that we fought, but we have to execute and be consistent,” Bandstra said.

Bradford will head to New Miami on Sept. 1 for their next game. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]

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