Cleveland beats Bradley Central 23-18 - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Cleveland beats Bradley Central 23-18

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CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB)--The Raiders wasted no time on their opening drive, Austin Massey to T.J. Parker on the screen pass that turns into a touchdown.

Meanwhile, the Bears' opening drive turns into a Blue Raider safety when the punt snap is too tall, 9-0 Cleveland.

The Blue Raiders would score on their next possession, Raekwon Bunion earning the hard yards between the tackles for a 16 zip Cleveland lead, that's when the hibernating Bear offense wakes up. Quarterback Cole Copeland connecting with Tyler Carpenter, who splits the seam and 55 yards later, nails home the Bears first touchdown, they miss the 2 point conversion attempt for a 16-6 Cleveland lead at halftime.  
 
The Bears claw back to a 16-12 margin halfway through in the third quarter with Copeland again hooking up with Carpenter, this time for a 48 yard touchdown catch and run, but Cleveland's Austin Massey matches it, finding Isaiah Beatty over the middle and he takes it in for a 45 yard touchdown reception and a 23-12 Cleveland lead.

It would stay that way until late in the fourth, as Cleveland fumbles deep in their territory and Bradley Central recovers it and takes it to the 1 yard line.
Despite a couple of Bear penalties, Copeland finds receiver Daniel Clark in the end zone for a 23-18 score which would stand as the final.

Our player of the game was T.J. Parker, who is obviously back from injury, " Feeling a lot better right now, I'm not really feeling anything," laughed Parker as he grasped WRCB's Player of the Game trophy. " To be honest, this is probably one of the greatest feelings in my life, I mean this is a cross-town rivalry that everyone talks about, it's the one game on our schedule everyone is like ' you better beat Bradley' and its good to know we don't have to worry about it again. We shut 'em down for the last two years, this is amazing."

Afterward, Bears Head Coach Damon Floyd told his team to try to put the loss behind them. " Yeah, I told them to get over it but it's a whole lot easier said than done. You lose to Cleveland, it hurts. Right now, we're facing a lot of adversity as a team, all we can do is stick together and try to come out of it and get the next one, it happens to be McMinn which is another rival for us. But this one definitely stings, we made way too many mistakes tonight, its my fault."

Meanwhile, Blue Raiders Head Coach Ron Crawford took the blame for his team's late game sloppiness. " In the end, we won the game, our defense kept bowing us back and turning them back and then we make a mistake and give them an easy one down here, we made them earn it," said Crawford of Bradley Central's last score.

Bradley Central falls to a 2-5 mark and 0-3 in district play.

The Blue Raiders' win evens them up at 4-4 overall, but maybe more importantly, Cleveland is now 3-1 and still in the thick of the district 5 post-season picture.

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