Standifer shines as Bears sweep 5-way action

By PATRICK MacCOON Sports Writer
Posted 7/14/17

Lack of practice or not, Bradley Central’s rising junior quarterback Dylan Standifer made major improvements in his first 7-on-7 action.

After a pair of turnovers in a tightly contested …

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Standifer shines as Bears sweep 5-way action

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Lack of practice or not, Bradley Central’s rising junior quarterback Dylan Standifer made major improvements in his first 7-on-7 action.

After a pair of turnovers in a tightly contested opening 20-minute scrimmage against Heritage, the first-year expected starter took full command against tough competition Tuesday evening at BCHS.

Against two of Knoxville’s top-tier teams in Knoxville Catholic, who is 41-12 with a Class 4-A state championship over the past four seasons, and Austin-East (21 wins since 2015), Standifer threw for a combined six touchdowns and no turnovers.

In three games the Bears accurate signal caller, who completed north of 70 percent of his passes, threw for nine scores in the 5-way 7-on-7 on his home gridiron.

“To be honest, we felt like Dylan was probably a little rusty coming in to today,” BC head coach Damon Floyd said. “Early on he missed some throws and slipped on an interception. But overall we were impressed on his first day back from baseball. He got better and better as the evening went on.”

Accuracy has been a strength of Standifer’s through limited varsity time under center as he is 44-of-60 (.733) through the air for 513 yards and five touchdowns.

A slew of receivers made big plays for Bradley, who won all four contests.

Proving to be one of the top receivers in the state last season, senior standout Lameric Tucker totaled nine catches for over 100 yards and scored three touchdowns.

His most impressive score, which he had 17 total last season, came on a 12-yard jump ball near the front left pylon against Austin-East. He also scored on a 28-yard wheel route down the right sideline against Knox Catholic.

An immediate impact player over his first two high school scrimmages, freshman 6-foot-3 wideout Tray Curry scored four touchdowns. He scored two against Heritage and now has six scores in 7-on-7’s.

Also adding to the firepower of the air attack were sophomore Saylor Clark and senior Stephen Muhonen.

Clark scored on a 41-yard bomb down the middle of the field against Austin-East. Muhonen scored twice against Knox Catholic, which included an impressive catch over his right shoulder for a 25-yard score late.

“Tray scored quite a bit today and scored our first one of the day to get us started,” Coach Floyd said. “Nick (Howell), Stephen and Lameric are going to be three-year starters and Saylor Clark is going to be a stud too. We feel really good about our receiving corps.”

Standifer threw for four touchdowns in a thrashing of Knox Catholic, who only scored once against the Bears.

“Dylan showed a lot of composure against what may be the No. 1 team in the state this season in 5-A,” BCHS offensive coordinator Keith Freeman said. “We threw and caught the ball well today. These young kids got some important reps. We are trying to get them ready for the season and build depth.”

Bradley’s defense was impressive throughout the day as well.

In a thrashing of Knox Catholic the Bears defense forced three sacks as the secondary forced tight coverage to where the opposing quarterback did not even throw the ball.

The Irish will return to Cleveland to face Walker Valley on Oct. 13.

“I felt like the intensity was raised when Knox Catholic lined up against us,” Coach Floyd said. “It was probably the best we played offensively and defensively all night. They have a chance to win the state every year, so it was nice to see.”

Seniors Jeffery Brewer, Jay Person, Jake Presley and freshman Ricky Smith all had strong days for BC as its defense only allowed three scores.

The Bears junior varsity and freshman played in the last scrimmage of the day against Meigs County.

Freshman BC quarterback Tucker Pope threw for a pair of scores.

Bradley will get back on the practice field today and will compete in a full day of 7-on-7’s Saturday at UTC.

“We have a lot more work to do and three more of these scrimmages next week,” Floyd said. “The real football will start when we put some pads on.”

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patrick.maccoon@clevelandbanner.com

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