CLEVELAND, Tenn. - It's safe to say that Brett Standifer has settled into the job of Bradley Central quarterback. As well as the Bears offense has been clicking the past couple of weeks, it seems as though the team is settling in with him.
The 6-foot-2 senior passed for 233 yards and ran for another 95 Friday, leading the Bears to a 36-27 victory over Signal Mountain at Bear Stadium. Although the Bears' total offensive output -- 374 yards -- equaled that of the Eagles' rushing attack, the hosts were able to make enough crucial plays to claim a big nondistrict win in Signal coach Bill Price's return to Bradley.
"I really think our offense has been clicking on all cylinders," Standifer said. "It's good to give our defense some breathing room to work with, and it's been fun not getting stopped much these past two weeks.
"Tonight was big. Any time you beat a top-10 team, it's a little bit about your team."
The Bears (5-1) jumped to a 14-0 lead on two touchdowns by Dee Crisp -- a 38-yard reception and a tipped Eagles pass that he intercepted and returned 37 yards. Signal (4-2) seemed to find its groove after that, scoring on its next two possessions -- Diamez Franklin from 17 yards out and James McClellan barreling in from 2 yards.
"I was really pleased with our defense at the beginning," Bradley coach Damon Floyd said. "We had a couple of early stops, and I told the guys to just continue to fight throughout, and I thought they did that to the end. Offensively, we did a good job of keeping them off balance and keeping our defense off the field. It was a great team effort."
Standifer scored the first of his two touchdown runs late in the first half. His second came two possessions after he completed a nice 34-yard touchdown pass to Cal Pickel five minutes into the third quarter.
Franklin added a late touchdown run, but Bradley recovered the onside kick to preserve the victory.
Both McClellan and Franklin had monster rushing performances, as McClellan had 31 carries for 175 yards, while Franklin finished with 15 for 149.
"It was a good game. We have another big one next week," Price said, referring to a District 7-AA matchup with Notre Dame. "James and Diamez ran hard for us, but we couldn't get a stop when we had to.
"We'll continue to build, and we will get better."
Crisp had five catches for 95 yards, while Pickel had five for 79.
Contact Gene Henley at email@example.com or 423-757-6311. Follow him at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.