Bradford football storms past Bridgeport for third win


By Drew Terhall

BRADFORD — The Railroaders win their first game on the new field on Sept. 9 in a 48-14 win over Bridgeport. They led from the jump and didn’t give up their lead.

Head coach Nick Bandstra said the team was focused on getting that first home win all week long as they prepared for this game.

“That was our goal this week. We thought this was a very winnable game. We had some worries. But overall, our kids came out, played hard and executed when we need to,” Bandstra said.

After junior Griffin Trevino returned the ball into the Bulldogs’ territory, the offense drove down and senior Tucker Miller scored from seven yards out. After a two-point conversion, the Railroaders were up 8-0.

Shortly after Trevino got an interception, Miller ran in for a 34-yard touchdown to go up 14-0.

The defense did allow the Bulldogs to drive down the field. But once they reached the redzone, the Railroaders didn’t allow much to get past them.

Bridgeport turned the ball over on downs to start the second quarter leaving the Railroaders to start their drive at their own nine-yard line. A big run by Miller and a big reception by senior Trey Schmelzer set up a 32-yard touchdown run by junior quarterback Owen Canan.

The defense came up big and recovered a fumble that set up their offense at midfield. Canan found Schmelzer for a 32-yard touchdown pass and the Railroaders were up 28-0 with 6:43 left in the second quarter.

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.

“Our philosophy all year is ‘Bend don’t break’. We have done a really good job at bending and not breaking. We have our star players execute when they to. You get Garrett Trevino or Trey Schmelzer coming through the line or Tucker coming off the edge. It makes a difference,” Bandstra said.

Just before the first half ended, Canan pitched the ball to Miller for the halfback throw as Miller launched it to Schmelzer for a 50-yard touchdown throw. Bradford went into half up 34-0.

Bandstra said the offense has been improving each week since the start of the season. He said they have the athletes that can help make this offense go.

“We have some good athletes. They’re multisport athletes and they do a great job. I’m proud of them,” Bandstra said.

On Bridgeport’s first possession of the second half, they scored from one-yard out to get on the board. But the Railroaders responded quickly.

On a broken play, Canan improvised as the ball was fumbled after the snap and ran it for a 27-yard touchdown.

At the start of the fourth quarter, Bridgeport scored on a four-yard touchdown run to get the game within 30 points.

But again, the big play offense of Bradford came through. Canan found senior Hudson Hill for a 60-yard touchdown to make it a 48-14 game.

Miller finished with two rushing touchdowns and a passing touchdown. Canan had two rushing touchdowns and two passing touchdowns. Schmelzer had two receiving touchdowns and Hill had the one receiving touchdown.

Bradford is now 3-1 on the season and will host Sciotoville East on Sept. 15 with kickoff set for 7 p.m.

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

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