Reed City twins eager to continue success

REED CITY – Friday night will mark the final regular-season home game for Eric and Michael Bradford, plus other Reed City seniors.

But there’s likely to be other home appearances on the Coyote home turf for the Bradford twins and their teammates.

The Coyotes go for their second straight undefeated regular season and outright Central State Activities Association title when they entertain White Cloud Friday night. They’ll be going to the playoffs starting Oct. 26 or 27.

Eric has been at cornerback.

“A key factor has been work ethic, not getting caught up in the (undefeated) stuff,” he said., “One messup can mess up our playoff hopes for home advantage throughout.”

Victories over Newaygo and Chippewa Hills have been highlights for the Coyotes.

“We really came together in those games. We knew it was a big game and both teams were real tough,” Eric said. “The close games, they always help. If you’ve been there, you know what to do.”

The Coyotes made Central Montcalm their eighth victim on Friday but playing their last league road game would be a challenge, Eric predicted ahead of time.

“Their record is 2-5 but they really don’t show a 2-5 team,” he said. “They could easily be a playoff team because they’ve got that kind of skill level. They’ve had some unlucky endings. We’ve been treating them like a Big Rapids or Chip Hills game.”

Bradford has been happy with the team’s defensive effort.

“In the Big Rapids game, we had a couple of shutdowns in goal-line situations,” he said. “We’ve been solid as a defensive unit.”

Bradford indicated he’s had his best season. A moment he’s not likely to forget was two interceptions including one for a touchdown. It’s a thrill hard to match, he admitted.

"The interception is a fun part but going for the touchdown just makes it even better,” he said.

The Coyotes hope to have a lengthy post season.

“We think we have a chance to go farther than Reed City has ever gone, the way the districts are set up,” Bradford said.

Michael Bradford has seen action at running back and has worked with his brother in the defensive backfield.

“Bending but not breaking” has been the key behind the defense’s success, he said. “We’ve had a couple of times like against Lakeview where they scored a little bit on us. We let the other team have a few big plays. The idea is to minimize that and take advantage of it, by going down field and scoring on our next possession.”

It’s Bradford’s third varsity campaign and the Coyotes are bidding for back-to-back 9-0 regular-season records.

“Being conference champs last year and being Reed City, everyone is going to give you their best game,” he said. “We feel like we’ve responded well. We’ve had three to maybe even five playoff teams in our conference. We’ve played great up to this point.

“Looking ahead, we won’t look past (White Cloud). Just because we’re playing teams whose records don’t show success, we have to keep the energy going into the playoffs.”

As a safety, “my brother and I held (Trent) Karcher to only one catch against Chippewa Hills,” he said. “We felt that was a huge momentum boost right there seeing that he’s been doing so great this year. At practice, we had a few guys practicing like Karcher and we felt they were going hard the entire time. And film, we studied him to see what kind of routes he liked and tendencies he had.”

Bradford had one interception this season and it came against Chip Hills.

“We just want to get better every single day,” he said. “We feel like we’ve been doing pretty good defensively.”