Greg Howard and Ray Titolau had 11 tackles and three assists each for BI’s defense, which registered two sacks, seven tackles for loss, broke up four passes and hurried two. Howard and Maurice Davis-Crite each had a fumble recovery for BI.
Senior kicker David Miller hit all three extra point attempts and averaged 36,.8 yards a punt on six attempts.
Winning hasn’t been easy or come often for Bradwell Institute this fall. The Tigers’ 21-13 win last week over Region 3-AAAAA foe Windsor Forest was only BI’s second in seven contests.
But Bradwell coach Jim Walsh isn’t kicking anybody to the curb.
"These kids have played hard for us all year long," Walsh said Monday. "Really, from the end of last season to the present time, our kids have worked extremely hard and fought tooth and nail every game we’ve played. Doing that and finally getting a win, even when it wasn’t your best performance but you still found a way to win, that’s the bottom line. Can you find a way to win a football game? That’s what you ask your kids to do and our kids did that."
It wasn’t a textbook victory. The Tigers were outrushed by Windsor Forest by a 250-65 margin and the Knights had 19 first downs; BI had only five.
Yet the Tigers had big plays when they needed them. After freshman quarterback LeBaron Anthony was pulled from the game with tendinitis in the elbow of his throwing arm and BI trailing 7-0, junior quarterback Tony Britton took over. Britton completed six of nine passes for 108 yards and two touchdowns while throwing only one interception.
Britton’s first TD to junior Marsalis Jackson covered 36 yards, and senior David Miller’s kick tied the score at 7. And after it went back up 13-7 in the fourth quarter, Britton connected with Leonard Felton on a 54-yard bomb to put BI up 14-13. The Tigers added a touchdown on a 22- yard run from Kelton Jacobs with 1:05 remaining.
The touchdown was Felton’s fifth of the season, and Britton was BI’s third quarterback to see action this fall. Junior Myrese Cobb was one of two starters lost for the season after suffering a broken leg against Savannah High — guard Aaron Jacobs was the other — and Anthony took over.
"He’s going to be a pretty good quarterback," Walsh said of Anthony. "He’s no bigger than a pencil. He’s probably 5-6, maybe 100 pounds, and he’s only 14, but he’s …. tough."
Yet with tendonitis hampering Anthony’s ability to pass and the Tigers finding it hard to run, Britton’s relief role likely earned him a starting spot on Friday when Bradwell takes on Jenkins (5-1) at Memorial Stadium.
"Tony’s the starter. He’s the healthy one. He finished the game for us and had a pretty good night," Walsh said, noting the Tigers may use a two-quarterback system for the remainder of the 2010 while continuing to pass more often. "The good thing about it is we have both of them coming back next season."
That wasn’t a luxury BI had this fall. The Tigers have had to replace nearly 2,500 yards of offense from running back Sheldon Barnes and quarterback Wilson Brown, and BI also lost center Ulrick John, who anchored last season’s offensive line.
As a result, Bradwell’s offense has morphed this season from a run-first option to the pass.
"We’ve found something we can do and we’re going to stick to it," said Walsh, who noted the next order of business is building on the team’s first win since the Tigers beat Johnson 21-17 on Sept. 18. "This is one of the hardest working groups we’ve had in my 17 years here. These kids have worked their tails off for us and in seven games they haven’t thrown in the towel," he said.