Tornadoes pass Keystone | clay today

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By Mike Zima Correspondent

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS — Bradford’s Willie Pollard scored two rushing touchdowns as the Tornadoes outscored host Keystone Heights 38-0 in Game 1 of the district 6-2S for each team on Monday, Oct. 3.

The contest was pushed back from September 30 due to Hurricane Ian.

Bradford, now 5-0, is a team loaded with seniors on a mission to bring a state championship trophy back to Starke.

The Indians, now 1-4, are a young team learning college football on the fly. The difference showed. Five different Tornadoes scored touchdowns as Bradford did what he wanted on offense, scoring on his first six possessions to start a running clock early in the third quarter.

Pollard, who led all rushers with 40 yards on just five carries, scored his first touchdown on a two-yard dive over left guard to give the visitors a 12-0 halftime lead.


the opening quarter. The junior running back then capped a 75-yard drive on Bradford’s next possession by rushing through a left tackle hole, cutting on the sideline and past the secondary keystone at the pylon for an 11 yards.

Bradford stars Manny Covey and Chalil Cummings did their part before making way for junior college for the second half. Covey, the senior running back committed to Cincinnati, gave the Tornadoes the lead with a 10-yard run on Bradford’s first possession, full Cummings edged Indian cornerback Darrion Grady for a touchdown that gave Bradford a lead 26-0 in the second quarter.

While the Tornadoes rushed for 226 yards on 28 carries, Bradford’s sophomore quarterback Jeremiah McKenzie was a perfect six-for-six through the air for 125 yards and two touchdowns.

With freshman Baylor Ford starting at quarterback due to injury, Keystone Heights entered the game intent on relying on his ground game.

“We were hoping to control the ball to keep their offense off the field,” Keystone Heights head coach Chuck Dickinson said. “They have an explosive attack that can score at any time.”

Unfortunately for the Indians, they never established their ground game against the Tornadoes defense, which has now shut out four of its five opponents in 2022 and allowed just one touchdown all season.

And a blunder on special teams and two turnovers turned what was a methodical beating into a road.

Midway through the first quarter, Indians punter Jayden Goodman fumbled a low snap. As he recovered the ball, he was overwhelmed by several tornadoes, giving Bradford the ball on the Keystone 15-yard line. It only took two points for Pollard to cash in on the short field.

Five minutes into the second quarter, Bradford safety CJ Carn picked up a deep throw from Ford, made the interception and returned the volley 58 yards on the Keystone four-yard line. Cummings carried McKenzie’s fade lane on the next play.

The Indians chained their first two tries and crossed midfield for the first and only time towards the end of the first half. But on the Bradford 44’s third and seventh, a Ford pass intended for Carson Eatmon was wide of the mark, and Bradford’s Jarrin Alexander rocked it to the ground.

On the next play, McKenzie found slot man Chason Clark on a quick out, and Clark sped down the sideline, received a block from Cummings at 10, and rumbled to the end zone. goals for 66 yards.

“Any time you play a high school freshman quarterback, he’s going to make mistakes,” Dickinson said of Ford, who completed two of five passes for six yards. “Ford threw the ball well at times. He must gain experience.

Grady provided a spark for the Indians once he transitioned from receiver to running back, rushing for 28 yards on six carries. Fullback Bryar Schenck led the Indians with 37 yards on 10 carries, while starting running back Cartez Daniels had just 17 yards on 10 attempts.

“Grady is the only one we’ve had with a little change in him,” Dickinson said. “He’s had some good runs and he’s doing a good job returning kicks.”

The Indians travel to Crescent City for an out-of-district game on October 7.

“We have to start playing physically again,” Dickinson said. “We have a great chance to win this week, and the more physical team will win.”

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