The longest city rivalry took center stage on Friday night at Ameche Field with Tremper hosting Bradford. The Red Devils would prevail 36-15 on Kenosha’s south side. There were several variables at play long before the opening kickoff. First, this would be the first time this huge game was played in front of a full house, in two years. And second, Bradford would enter the game with 4 of their starting 5 offensive linemen out of the game, so any advantage Bradford had whether it be real or imagined coming in, was kinda out the window. And the aforementioned crowd was large, seemingly well behaved and both student sections put on a pretty impressive show while screaming at each other from across the field. Crosstown football was back.
The Devils started out trying to find an offensive rhythm but soon wrestled away pretty obvious control. Keany Parks showed why he is a legitimate DI recruit (perhaps on both sides of the ball) and Nate Olson delivered some astonishing passes when he wasn’t running for his life. And that is not me baggin on the Bradford OLine, it just is what it is when you have the 1s playing against the 2s in the trenches. Protecting your QB is a tougher task when you are short starters but the OLine was asked to perform a difficult job and sure put in the effort. Bradford has just too many playmakers and a QB that can deliver clutch plays. The Red Devils lost a ton of talent on D to graduation but they still got guys flying around all over out there.
Tremper has absolutely made strides under their second-year coach. It will simply take time. When highlighting strengths for the Trojans, the D would be what comes to mind first. Tremper’s defense is already pretty good and will only get better. Yes, the D did give up 36 points but Bradford can easily hang 50 points on almost any team in the area. As far as offensively, unfortunately for the Trojans, they began many of their offensive plays in their own backfield. Replacing a senior leader at QB will take some time…the Trojans look like they are on the right path. I’m certain that while the loss obviously stings a little, the Trojans had to be happy with the film from last year as opposed to this year.
And the third line of this Friday football trinity is the fans. First and foremost, there was a pep band…which was awesome. And both sides had fantastic representation from the student sections. Plenty of fans and family filled the seats and it was an old-school Friday night in KTown. Quite refreshing. The results of the game notwithstanding, both sides were winners last night. Bradford won the game and is seemingly the class of the city again and the Devil faithful showed out to support a team that can be good enough for a deep run. And Tremper was able to up the competitive level a couple of steps and their student section put on a display worthy of some of the great student support classes in years gone by. Here’s to hoping the 2021 version of this rivalry is a rebirth of our football past merging with the upside of our football future.