CHARLESTON, Tenn. — A Bradley Central assistant coach looked around the football field Friday night in the moments after the Bears, ranked No. 1 in Class 6A, had finished off a workmanlike victory at Class 5A's Walker Valley.
He had seen a standing room-only crowd surrounding the field during the game, with those same groups of kids and fans now on the field with the Bradley athletes, asking for autographs and pictures after the Bears improved to 4-0 with the 35-0 victory.
The coach shook his head and said, "Man, this is crazy."
The first month of the season has been just that in the very best way for the rock-star Bears, a sprint highlighted by last week's 21-13 win over Maryville, ranked No. 3 at the time, in the Region 2-6A opener. Bradley has an open date next week, and head coach Damon Floyd said it's probably coming at the right moment.
"I usually don't like off weeks, but I think it's good timing," Floyd said. "It's a good chance for us to go back and reset, start the season over again after the first four, and really work on some things that we need to work on.
"There's still room for improvement, obviously, and we've got to make sure we do that to reach our potential."
The Bears were solid in two phases of the game Friday, but they struggled on offense. The Mustangs (3-1) were held to 173 yards on 53 plays, and Bradley was able to get 14 points from its special teams thanks to scores by Boo Carter (93-yard punt return) and Jarrius Rogers (70-yard kickoff return).
The speedy Rogers also had a 25-yard touchdown on a pass from Kaleb Martin, who also found Carter for a 35-yard score.
"That's why we're such a great team, because we share the ball," Rogers said. "We know as long as we do that, we're going to win."
Junior running back J'Alan Terry returned from an injury sustained in the season opener to finish with 131 yards on the ground, while Tito Williams had 57 yards receiving. Zayne McIntosh and Wiley Suskawicz were credited with sacks.
Contact Gene Henley at email@example.com.