Orange defensive back Bradsher peels Cedar Ridge clean
Orange picked Cedar Ridge clean in the annual cross-town rivalry game Friday night 59-7 and junior defensive back AJ Bradsher was named player of the game for a career night right out of a Hollywood script.
Bradsher snagged three interceptions, one an absolute circus catch, and recovered a fumble to set up scores and help the unbeaten and seventh-ranked 3-A Panthers’ defense roar a little louder. And it was done on his very first varsity start as a fill-in for the injured Joe Piscitelli.
In fact, the Orange Crush was so dominant that it held Cedar Ridge to just 109 yards total offense, sacking Cedar Ridge quarterback Peyton Pappas six times, intercepting him four times and holding two of three other running backs to negative yardage.
Julius Walton was the bright spot for the Red Wolves, gaining 79 yards on 16 carries. Pappas was 5-13 for 66 yards.
On offense, the Panthers looked like a hot knife going through a warm stick of butter, getting 483 total yards, 357 of them on the ground.
Running back Tay Jones had 128 yards and a pair of stellar touchdowns — a 51-yard pass reception and 66-yard run. Back Patrick Pettiford had a touchdown run of six yards and a 10-yard passing score from quarterback Garrett Cloer, who finished 6 of 7 passing for 126 yards. Amazingly, five of his completions were for touchdowns. He also scored on an 11-yard quarterback keeper.
“They’re something aren’t they?” Moser said of Jones and Pettiford. “They’re a good one-two punch.”
In all, seven different offensive players scored TDs for Orange. Also scoring were Michael Bolden, Artrell Stewart, Jeffrey Campbell and Mark Holt.
The soft-spoken Bradsher said coming into the game that he told himself, “I’m going to give it my best, and I stepped up.” He had no explanation for his tremendous showing.
“They just came to me” he said of the interceptions. “I didn’t think much.”
And that fumble recovery?
“It was fumbling around so I just jumped on it,” Bradsher said.
Orange Coach Pat Moser was more animated in his assessment of Bradsher’s night.
“Three interceptions and a fumble recovery, and did you see the one he stuck with one hand? That was an amazing play,” Moser said. “This kid has been waiting his turn and he had a great game. I’m very proud of him. He’s a great kid. He’s worked hard in the weight room and he’s done what we asked him.”
Despite the final score, Moser admitted he got a little antsy in the opening quarter.
“I didn’t really know what to expect. We watched Cedar Ridge on film and they’ve been averaging about 28 points a game,” Moser said.
“I think the Pappas kid is a really good quarterback and dangerous, and he showed that right at the beginning of the game. They went right down the field and scored on what I think might be the best defense I ever had so I was real concerned in the beginning,” Moser said.
“I thought this game might be a whole lot tighter than maybe some expected,” he said. “After that first score we were able to answer it and tie the game. Then our defense stepped up.”
The Panthers’ top 10 3-A state ranking by the Associated Press and MaxPreps.com has been good for the community, he said.
“We’re glad to see some recognition. Our players are enjoying it, our school is enjoying it, it’s a lot of fun having a great senior group like we have and to see them playing well. They deserve it because they’ve really worked hard.”
ORANGE 59, CEDAR RIDGE 7
Cedar Ridge 7 0 0 0 — 7
Orange 14 20 19 6 — 59
CR — Julius Walton 4 run (Brandon Phares kick), 7:25
O — Patrick Pettiford 6 run (Brad Barbee kick), 3:58
O — Tay Jones 51 pass from Garrett Cloer (Barbee kick), 2:06
O — Michael Bolden 2 run (kick failed), 11:57
O — Cloer 11 run (Barbee kick), 11:04
O — Artrell Stewart 5 pass from Cloer (Barbee kick) 4:13
O — Pettiford 10 pass from Cloer (Barbee kick), 10:36
O — Jones 66 run (run failed), 8:09
O — Jeffrey Campbell 22 pass from Cloer (run failed), 0:09
O — Mark Holt 10 run (run failed), 8:49
RUSHING — Cedar Ridge, Julius Walton 16-79. Orange, Tay Jones 7-128, Patrick Pettiford 7-73, Mihael Bolden 7-53, Garrett Cloer 2-34, Drew Lemaster 3-30, Mark Holt 4-26, Ky Muller 2-13.
PASSING — Cedar Ridge, Peyton Pappas 5-13-4 66. Orange, Garrett Cloer 6-7-0 126.
RECEIVING — Cedar Ridge, Hunter Marquez 3-38, Matt Murty 1-26. Orange, Tay Jones 1-51, Ky Muller 2-35, Jeffrey Campbell 1-22, Patrick Pettiford 1-13.
Records — Cedar Ridge 0-7, 0-3 Big Eight 3-A; Orange 7-0, 3-0 Big Eight.