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Bradford passing game launches team into playoffs

Don Jeffers catches a pass from Kenny Dinkins for the Tornadoes' first score.

Don Jeffers catches a pass from Kenny Dinkins for the Tornadoes’ first score.


Monitor Editor

Kenny Dinkins caught two touchdown passes and threw a 76-yard scoring strike to Don Jeffers, leading Bradford over Umatilla 27-14.

The win secured a playoff post for the Tornadoes and set up a district showdown with Keystone Heights next week.

Dinkins’ touchdown pass came on the Tornadoes’ third play.  Lining up as a wide receiver, Dinkins took a handoff from quarterback Jacob Luke on an apparent reverse.  However, after taking a few steps, the senior pulled up and hit a wide-open Jeffers at midfield.  Jeffers, with a five-yard head start, easily outran the closest Bulldog defender to the north end zone.

Chris Barron added the extra point to give the Tornadoes a 7-0 lead with 5:27 left in the first quarter.

On Bradford’s next possession, the Tornadoes overcame a motion penalty and sack that lost 10 yards to complete a nine-play drive covering 58 yards.  Luke completed throws to KeAris Ardley for 10 yards and to Dinkins for 20 more during the series.  A nine yard scramble  by Luke and an additional 11-yard rush by  Jarvis Desue took the ball to the Umatilla 18.

However, on first and 10 from the 18 a Bulldog pass rusher broke through Bradford’s protection and dropped Luke for a 10-yard loss.  Bradford got half of the lost yardage back on the following play with a defensive holding penalty. 

Officials flagged the Bulldogs 10 times for 60 yards in the game while handing Bradford seven penalties for 50 yards.

On second and 14 from the 22, Luke found Dinkins in the back of the end zone for the Tornadoes’ second score.  Barron added the point after touchdown for a 14-0 lead with 9:39 left in the first quarter.

Midway through the second period, the Tornado defense held Umatilla outside of the end zone for four plays after the Bulldogs had reached the Tornado six.

Bradford took over on its own three yard line after the goal line stand.

Desue then broke a 39-yard run, taking the ball to the Bradford 45, but a motion penalty backed up the Tornadoes to the 40. 

From there, Luke found Dinkins again, this time in the left flat.   When Dinkins caught the pass, he found himself  alone with one Bulldog defender.  The Bradford receiver made a quick cut inside eluding the defender and found open field to the end zone.  The play gave Bradford a 20-0 lead, after the extra-point attempt was no good.

Bradford’s final score came at the end of a nine-play, 64-yard drive highlighted by another Luke to Dinkins pass of 24 yards.  After the completion, Tra’von Thomas added a nine yard run, taking the ball to the Bulldog four.  From there, Bradford gave Desue the ball for the next three plays.  The sophomore running back broke the scoring plane on the third attempt from one yard out.  Barron added the extra point, ending Bradford’s 27-point output.

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