The Bradwell Tigers’ Friday night home game got off to a sluggish start, riddled with flags and fumbles. However, the Tigers’ safety in the second quarter provided the energy the team needed for its eventual 50-0 win over the still winless Savannah High Blue Jackets.
Once again, though, the victory came at a price — four more Tigers went down with injuries, including Myrese Cobb, who likely is done for the season.
The Tigers held the Blue Jackets to a fourth and punt in their first offensive drive and drew an unsportsmanlike conduct flag on the kick return to start at midfield.
Just two plays later, however, Tiger quarterback Wilson Brown fumbled the ball, giving it back to Savannah.
Both teams exchanged punts and on the Blue Jackets’ next offensive drive they fumbled, giving the ball to the Tigers. Bradwell started at the 40-yard line and marched the ball downfield. At the start of the second quarter, the Tigers were in scoring position and marched the ball to the 10-yard line, but, once again, handed the ball to the Jackets.
A penalty forced Savannah to move back to the 6-yard line on third down. The Blue Jackets took the snap and scrambled. The play drew a penalty flag in the end zone, giving the Tigers a 2-point safety.
The defense held the Jackets to a punt and Tiger Stanley White returned the ball to midfield, setting up Sheldon Barnes’ 49-yard touchdown run to go up 9-0 with David Miller’s PAT.On the Jackets next drive, they fumbled the ball back to the Tigers at the 33-yard line. Once again, Barnes barreled down the field and score another touchdown and PAT.
With renewed energy, the Tiger defense forced the Jackets’ quarterback to hurry the pass. Savannah’s rushers were tackled in the back field. The Jackets punted and Tiger Keyoung Miller returned it for 45 yards and another TD to end the half up 23-0.
The Tigers opened the third with another touchdown run by Sheldon Barnes. In the process, however, they lost Cobb, their kick holder and punter. Adjusting to a new holder, Miller’s PAT hit the crossbar on the outside.
Ulrick John was in the game for about a half before he was forced to rest his ankle. Brandon Barber was carried off the field and Marsalis Jackson hurt his shoulder. Cobb was taken to the hospital. The team still added 21 points and held the Jackets scoreless.
"It feels good to win, doesn’t it?" Tiger head coach Jim Walsh asked his players after the game. They responded, "Yes, sir!"
"Then keep winning," Walsh said.
"We are still trying to get healthy, but at the same time we keep getting injuries," the coach said. "It seems like we can’t catch a break on that. I’ve never gone through a year like this as far as injuries go. But the kids that are having to step up and play, they are giving it their all and they’ve done a great job for us."
The victory makes the Tigers 4-3 overall and 2-2 in Region 3-AAAAA. They play Beach High at home next Friday for homecoming.