Stingy Defense Makes Bradford Tornadoes a Florida Class 2S Title Contender

Of the numerous Florida teams that remain undefeated, few, if any, have a resume that impresses more than that of the Bradford High Tornadoes – especially on defense.

Even with state powers such as Miami Central, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Chaminade-Madonna in that conversation, few can boast an overall body of work comparable to that of the Tornadoes up to this point.

Having emerged as one of the top teams in Class 2S as we approach the playoffs, the Tornadoes enter the final week of the regular season with a perfect record at 9-0. This memorable season comes after three straight 6-6 seasons for the Tornadoes, each of which resulted in an early playoff exit.

Bradford’s turnaround can be attributed to a number of factors. On offense, the Tornadoes are averaging 30 PPG and have put at least 20 points on the board in all nine games. Bradford also has four 30+ point games, as well as a 40+ point showing in a dominant home win over Dunnellon back on October 21, when they shut out the Tigers, 44-0.

Leading the way for the Tornadoes on offense is an exciting ground game that features Manny Covey, Jeremiah McKenzie, Dae’jon Shanks, and Willie Pollard. Bradford’s offense has also shown flashes through the air as well, with both McKenzie and Shanks seeing time at quarterback. Shanks has also played a role at receiver and Chalil Cummings is one of the Tornadoes’ top pass catchers.

While the Bradford offense is certainly great, the real difference maker has been a dominant, elite defense. The Tornadoes have allowed only 21 total points through nine games, which works out to an astounding average of 2.3 PPG.

In fact, prior to their win last Friday night at Palatka, Bradford had only allowed points to an opponent once all year, which came back on September 23 in a 21-7 win over Munroe. That means that of the Tornadoes’ nine games this season, seven have been defensive shutouts.

A big reason for the Tornadoes’ defensive success is their pass rush, led by strong play from the likes of Chason Clark and Bryson Bowen. The impact doesn’t stop with those two either; numerous others have made key impacts on the Bradford Tornadoes defense, including Torin Brazell, Devon McBride, and DeJon McBride.

Bradford will conclude its impressive regular season Friday night with a road trip to Suwannee, followed by the Class 2S playoffs. Can the Tornadoes keep the impressive play going into the postseason?

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