HIXSON — Bradley Central wound up its 7-on-7 passing league season with a four-team scrimmage Thursday at Hixson High School. The Bears went up against the Wildcats, Lookout Valley Yellow Jackets and Chattanooga Central Purple Pounders with mixed results according to head coach Damon Floyd.
“We started off really well. We’re missing some people, but we wanted to see who else was going to step up,” Floyd said. “I thought Keith Wilson came out on fire. We went 10 plays on offense and 10 plays on defense and he was 9-of-10 and didn’t miss a pass. The one incomplete pass we had was a dropped ball. He did really well.”
Floyd’s early satisfaction with the Bears’ passing game eroded during the course of the afternoon as the sweltering heat and humidity took its toll.
“Toward the end, I don’t know if we got tired — whatever the excuse is, we don’t have one. We just didn’t compete the whole time. We started great and ended bad,” he stated.
Bradley Central went into the scrimmage without the services of starting quarterback Bryce Copeland and Baylor Terrell. Also absent was tight end Caleb Cain, who was nicked up in the Bears’ last 7-on-7 at Alcoa. The change, said the Bradley coach, did not affect the way he scripted the scrimmage with Wilson and Daniel Clark running the offense.
“We lost Bryce in the Cookeville game last year and Cookeville didn’t care. They weren’t going to take it easy on us,” said Floyd of the competition’s lack of sympathy for injuries. “One of the things we want to see and one of the things I learned as a coach last year is injuries do happen. You obviously don’t take things for granted, but when somebody goes down, the next guy has got to be ready.
“We feel fortunate that Bryce isn’t here right now and Keith and Daniel get to battle this out and get some reps.”
“The main positive would be the way we started. We started really well. I was really happy with that,” Floyd said. “The bad part is, I think the heat got to us. And mentally we didn’t stay in it. Every now and then we started seeing guys loafing and taking some plays off, which we’ve got to fix right now. That was the negative.
“Another positive is, we did a lot of good things. But, the way we ended it is negative for me.”
Floyd ended the day saying he is glad the 7-on-7 season is over.
“Thank goodness,” he deadpanned. “These are really good for you, but they get old. I probably scheduled too many, too quick. But, it is what it is. It’s a chance to compete and get better.”
The Bears will take an extended weekend with several team members helping with Sunday’s Bradley Pigskin Open golf tournament at Chatata Valley. Monday, the coaching staff will begin installing special teams with two-a days coming July 30, 31.