Bradford(8-2) is coming off a nice win versus a solid Brooklyn Columbia team 38-33, while Ida(9-1) thrashed Stockbridge 42-14. Bradford has been playing football since 2009 and this is their first playoff appearance. 2015 Regional Champion Ida, has been a recent playoff power and has made the playoffs 6 out of the last 7 years. These two teams have never met on the gridiron.
Bradford is having their best season ever and has a ton of athletic and talented play-makers all over the field. The Bulldogs are led by Sr. QB, Shelton Smith (6'3" 186), Sr. MLB, Alex Furlow (6'0" 200), Jr. RB, Blake Grice-Brunson (6'0" 198) and Sr. WR, Almount Smith (6'4" 180). Bradford runs a wide open spread attack. They will look to get people in space and make it a 1 on 1 type of game. Bradford is coached by Ki'erre Gaut.
Here are some Bradford highlightS vs. Old Redford Academy:
The Bluestreaks are a no fuss, we are coming at you type of football team. Ida is led on the ground by RB's Nick Levicki , Andrew Oberski and Bryan Laux. Levicki on the season has 1,788 yards rushing and 31 TD's. Those stats are crazy, Tecmo Bowl type numbers. I am sure Nick would be the first to tell you, those stats would be much harder to come by, if it weren't for his outstanding offensive line. Sr. TE Thomas Jennings-Boldt, Jr. T Jacob Campbell, Sr. G Jacob Wickenheiser, Jr. C Michael Clark, Jr. G Matt Zlonkevicz, Sr. T Brandon Suydam, Sr. TE, Kyle Parran. I went to the Ida game last Friday and the push these men get up front is impressive. On several plays they didn't "pull" any guards(a T staple), and as a unit, plowed over the poor defensive nose guard. This type of blocking was called "wedge" in my day, often used by double wing teams. Not sure what Ida calls it but it was nice to see it used by a Straight T squad. I love watching good offensive line play and Ida has it. Without a doubt the key to their success. Ida is fronted by Head Coach Tom Walentowski.
This game is a battle of philosophies. The spread, 4-5 split out wide, short passing game vs the Straight T, zero line splits, hide the hoagie, power running game. Bradford wants to use the entire field, while Ida wants the game to be played inside a phone booth. Who will impose their will more? I don't see Bradford slowing down Ida, but will Ida be able to contain the Bulldogs and their speed. Proper angles and sure tackling will be a must. Ida gets the job done and wins their 2nd straight district title.
Pick: Ida 45 Bradford 20
(Chris' Pick: Ida 41 Bradford 26)
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