Earning its first victory against Beach last week has given new life to the Bradwell Institute football team.
Tonight, the Tigers have a chance to improve to 2-1 in Region 3-AAAAA when they host Johnson High at 7:30 at Olvey Field.
But the Atomsmashers have something to prove as well. Coming off a 1-7 region mark in 2010, Johnson already has pulled out a 14-7 win over Jenkins, which finished second in 3-AAAAA last season.
Tigers coach Jim Walsh said his players have to be ready to play from the opening kickoff.
“We can’t do what we did last week, where for a quarter and a half we just kind of stood around,” he said. “We ended up getting down, 21-0, then just before the half we were able to score twice to make it 21-10. Then in the third quarter and fourth quarter we played a lot better. We have to come out from the beginning and put four solid quarters together.”
It was the Tigers’ special teams and defense that preserved their 22-21 win against Beach.
Tigers cornerback Marsalis Jackson’s 97-yard punt return gave the Tigers the 22-21 lead.
Jahlil Witt blocked a 21-yard field-goal attempt that would have given the Bulldogs the go-ahead score, and Greg Howard took a direct snap on a fake punt to give the Tigers a new set of downs and the chance to run out the clock.
Howard leads the defense with 19 tackles in the past two games, according to defensive coordinator DeAndre Davis. Jordan Portley has 14 tackles, Marcus Stewart has 12 and D’Marius Moye has 10 in the past two games.
Michael Mizell and Tony Britton both have interceptions for BI.
Walsh said Johnson has both size and strong athletes.
“Defensively, we have to attack, run to the ball and create as much confusion as we can — that’s going to be the bottom line,” he said. “Offensively, we have to be methodical and move the ball. We’ve thrown the ball a lot more this year. But we also have to mix it up, move the chains, control the clock and put points on the board. Each week we’ve gotten a little bit better, and hopefully we can continue that trend. We are starting to get more physical, and that is how we have to be for the back half of the season.”