A Bear’s kick to the gut

Despite Corum’s huge touchdown trifecta, Ads fall to unbeaten Bradley on last play, a 41-yard field goal

  • David Broda, Ads sophomore linebacker, stops Bear Marcus Goree Jr. Bradley edged Farragut 31-28 at FHS Friday, Oct. 15. - Photos courtesy of Carlos Reveiz/crfoto.com

  • Gathering in a near-perfect deep pass from Farragut junior quarterback Luke Johnson, senior receiver Trace Corum raced for 69 yards and the tying score late versus Bradley Center. - Photos courtesy of Carlos Reveiz/crfoto.com

Two huge and dramatic offensive plays in the second half weren’t quite enough for Farragut at Bill Clabo Field Friday evening, Oct. 15.

Unbeaten Bradley Central (8-0, 4-0) overcame giving up a tying score following a fumble deep in FHS territory with less than seven minutes to play, then overcome giving up a 69-yard touchdown pass with two minutes left — both late scores from senior receiver Trace Corum.

Tied 28-28, the Bears drove to the FHS 24 — aided by a pass interference call in the closing seconds, and nailed a 41-yard field goal as tim expired to win 31-28.

A rushing attack featuring the power and speed of Bears running back Jackson Wilson and the elusiveness of quarterback Aiden McClary — plus the Admirals offense going three-and-out on three straight second-half possessions, helping to tire an otherwise determined Farragut defense.

Admirlas skipper Eddie Courtney Courtney pointed to “a couple of missed blocking assignments” to explain the stagnation.

As a result, Courtney said his defense “was out their for a bunch of plays.”

Clutch passing plays by McClary also fueled Bradley’s late-game scoring success.

“We didn’t think (they’d) run him as much,” the FHS coach said about McClary. “Give credit to him. And they made a couple of great catches on the sideline — that last one I’m not sure about, but it is what it is.”

Overall, “They made a couple more plays than we did,” added Courtney, whose team fell to 3-5 overall, 1-3 in region. “... We seem to play everybody at their best. You can see why they’re undefeated.”

“I still think we had chances to beat them tonight, but hats off to them. ... We just needed a play or two at the end.”

An apparent interception that likely would have forced overtime was nullified by the pass interference, moving the Bears from the FHS 40 to the Admirals 25, setting up the winning field goal.

“We’ve got to get back to work, improve on some stuff for next week (at Fulton),” said Corum, whose 25-yard end around run — breaking tackles down the right sideline — put the Ads up 21-20 with 5:26 left after Reese Keeney’s extra point.

That series began with senior linebacker Sam Moses recovering a Bradley fumble at the Bears 27 with 6:09 to play.

About the 69-yard pass from Luke Johnson, Ads junior back-up quarterback, “That was a perfect pass,” Corum said. “It shows a lot. Luke’s been working hard all year. Before the last couple of weeks he didn’t (play) in varsity and he wasn’t playing in JVs.”

Early in the game

With Farragut mishandling the game’s opening kickoff, Bradley was at the FHS 12.

But after two runs for only 1 yard, then a dropped touchdown pass on third down, the Bears’ 23-yard field goal was blocked by Griffin Mashburn and the loose ball was returned by junior John Duncan to the Bradley 48.

Corum scored on a jet sweep reverse to the left from 13 yards out, after starting quarterback Dawson Moore completed a pass to senior receiver Zach Keasling for 18 yards to help set up the game’s first score.

Tied 7-7 after an 82-yard Bears TD pass, the Ads pinned Bradley at its 2 thanks to Keeney’s punt — he ended with a 42.2 average during the game — and forced a short BCHS punt.

Needing only 32 yards, the Ads scored on Johnson’s 11-yard scoring pass to Ben Reed, where the junior somehow avoided a sack and reversed his field from left to right.

Despite Johnson’s lack of experience, “He’s got great composure,” Courtney said.

Missing players

Although Corum came up huge, Johnson also was challenged because “we had a couple of receivers out tonight, banged up a little bit,” the coach said.

“... That was a struggle there.”

Moore, FHS starting quarterback, was pulled late in the first half after taking a couple of sacks, as the senior had recovered from a concussion and was nursing a high ankle injury according to Courtney.

Looking ahead

As for the team’s post-season outlook, “It’s going to come down to us and Bearden (Friday, Oct. 29)” for the final Class 6A playoff spot (top four teams from each region),” Courtney said, as the Bulldogs are 3-5 but 2-2 in region.

But having the non-district trip to Fulton next on the Farragut schedule, “We’ve got to look at winning these next two games for our pride, our own character and everything else,” the coach added.

“And the two or three times we sent pressure up inside, they picked it up pretty good and broke a run on us,” he added. “We thought we could blitz them more, but they got us out of that because their guards were doing a good job pickup up our (line)backers on stunts.”