|Season ends on a high note|
|The Press - Sports|
|Written by Bob Gerard|
|Wednesday, 16 November 2011 16:28|
ShareLast week’s away game between the BCHS Wildcats and their rivals the Bradford Tornadoes was all about redemption and pride.
They were a handful of points away from being the district champions, posting a perfect record and looking to the post season. Instead, after the 20-14 loss to Bishop Kenny November 4, they were about to play their last game of the 2011 season.
So the Cats, and particularly the seniors, were treating the game against Bradford as their playoff game. It definitely showed in their play, as they rolled over Bradford County 41-24 in Starke.
“I was a little bit worried Monday and Tuesday about how we’d respond to the loss,” said head coach Ryan Sulkowski. “But I told them that time heals all wounds and by Friday we had stopped feeling sorry for ourselves and were ready to play.”
Bradford came into the game having lost six in a row to the Wildcats and with a playoff date against the Raines Vikings this Friday.Over the past two games, Bradford looked like an offensive juggernaut. They shutout their previous two opponents and outscored them 89-0. They won a playoff berth by defeating Mt. Dora 7-0 in a three-way tiebreaker the Monday before they faced the Wildcats.
It was clear from the early going that Bradford was caught back on their heels. As the game progressed, the Wildcat defense began to impose their will on the Tornado offensive line.
Kendrick Singleton, who had perhaps the best game of his career with 14 catches for 201 yards and 4 touchdowns, opened the scoring with a 91 yard touchdown jaunt on a short pass from Thomas Sirk on the third snap of the game.
The Tornado’s top player, quarterback Austin Chipoletti, played well, and responded to the first Wildcat score with one of his own. But Coach Derek Chipoletti’s son was harassed by the Elijah Lee and CeCe Jefferson as the game progressed.
BCHS took the lead at the end of the first period on a 36 yard Jeremy Wannamaker field goal. From that point on, the game belonged to the Wildcats. Chipoletti was still able to move the ball, but the Tornado defense were unable to stop the Cats, and Sirk in particular, who threw for over 400 yards in the game.
In the second period Sirk tossed the ball all over the field and connected with Singleton for a 16 yard score and Malone Hadley for a 30 yard touchdown. Both players were over double figures in receptions.
The Wildcats went up 31-10 early in the second half on an 11 yard Sirk to Singleton strike. Sirk hit his wily receiver for an 8 yard score later in the game.
Wannamaker finished the scoring with a booming 42 yard field goal.
For the Cats it was a record setting night. Forty-one points was the most the team has ever scored against the Tornados and extended the win streak to seven games.
Sirk broke the school record for a single game passing going 30 for 36 for 405 yards and five touchdowns. Singleton caught 14 passes for 201 yards and four touchdowns and Hadley had 10 receptions for 164 yards and a score.
Defensively, Elijah Lee had a pair of sacks and CeCe Jefferson got to Chipoletti once. Roland Gaskins and Singleton both intercepted the Bradford quarterback and Jared Lee had another big game defensively.
Sirk finished his career as the school’s only 2000 yard passer and 1000 yard rusher in a single season.
“I’m really proud of these kids,” said Sulkowski. “They are a great group. It hurts when you know that 4 points separated us from a district championship. But the ball just didn’t bounce our way in those two games.”
|Last Updated on Thursday, 22 December 2011 12:15|