BLUFF CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Ethan Bradford has been shining for Sullivan East under center this season, but when coming into the season, there was a strong chance the senior wasn’t even going to suit up for the Patriots.
Before this year, the quarterback hasn’t played organized football since fifth grade, but if you didn’t know, you’d never be able to tell.
“I could see the natural competitiveness in him since he was a freshman and luckily we were able to finally talk him to coming out,” East head coach J.C. Simmons said.
“He really encouraged me, he’s good with words, helping me get on the football field,” Bradford mentioned.
In East’s season-opener against Johnson County, Bradford broke the schools completion record and this past Friday he stepped it up a notch, by shattering the Patriots 29-year single-game passing yard record.
Bradford finished 17-21 with 336 yards and five touchdowns in the 46-0 victory over Sullivan North. The first-year started once again did a stellar job, but he gives credit to everyone on the offense.
“I stretched their defense with some passes and really just stayed focused and outworked them on all cylinders and the line blocked well and the wide receivers blocked really well,” Bradford said.
Simmons’ quarterback acknowledged everyone on the field, but the head Patriot knows how important Bradford is on the field.
“Just his footwork that comes with it and trusting the routes and reading it and letting the ball loose that’s one of the things, trying to trust our receivers to get there.”
East closes out the season at Greeneville, which the Patriots haven’t beaten since 2004. Simmons knows his squad isn’t just playing against the Greene Devils on Friday, but also Father Time.
“One of the key words we’ve been using the last few weeks is urgency,” Simmons said. “For these seniors obviously it’s pretty easy to talk about urgency, the clocks winding down.”