With his team trailing by two scores to begin the second half, Bradley Central coach Damon Floyd had a very simple strategy: Get the ball into the hands of his playmakers.
The Bears' offensive weapons needed less than a quarter to make their coach look like a genius and erase the deficit as Class 6A's seventh-ranked team rallied for a 38-28 nonregion win Thursday night at Soddy-Daisy.
"We've got some guys who are really good athletes, and we just had to find as many ways as possible to get them the ball in space and let them do what they do," Floyd said. "Basically we just executed better on offense, and defensively we tackled better.
"This was a big win for us because they are a very tough team to stop."
Soddy-Daisy built a 28-13 halftime lead thanks to some big plays on offense — a 63-yard scoring pass from Gavin Chambers to Ty Boeck and a 22-yard touchdown from Chambers to Garrett Richardson — as well as a solid defensive effort. Ben Jenkins returned a fumble 2 yards for a TD.
But the Bears (6-1) wasted no time in turning momentum their way, opening the third quarter with a five-play, 63-yard scoring drive, capped by Adam Mullis' 10-yard TD run.
On their next series, junior quarterback Dylan Standifer threw to Lameric Tucker for a 76-yard score, with Tucker weaving his way through defenders before outrunning the secondary for the goal line. Tucker finished with seven catches for 187 yards and the TD.
"I'm not the type of guy who calls for the ball, but when I got it I was just trying to make something good happen for my team," Tucker said.
After Bradley's defense held Soddy-Daisy for a second time in the quarter, Standifer capped another long drive with a 4-yard TD toss to Devin Moore, giving the Bears their first lead. And they never looked back.
In earning the sixth straight win in the series, Bradley limited the Trojans to 139 yards of total offense in the final two quarters and even blocked a field-goal attempt to preserve the second-half shutout. Meanwhile, the Bears offense collected 287 of its 497 total yards in the deciding second half.
Standifer completed 15 of 25 passes for 352 yards and two TDs, and Mullis finished with 112 yards on 17 carries. Chambers threw for 234 yards and two TDs for the Trojans (4-3).
Contact Stephen Hargis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6293. Follow him on Twitter @StephenHargis.