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|Green Machine (3-0)
Macomb Bombers (1-2)
M - Kline 14 yard pass from Bradley (PAT Failed) (0-6)
G - Strader 1 yard run (Boyles PAT) (7-6)
G - Strader 1 yard run (PAT Failed) (13-6)
M - Maher 23 yard pass from Bradley (2PT Failed) (13-12)
M - Crawford 1 yard run (2PT Failed) (13-18)
G - Hart 8 yard run (Peterson 2PT) (21-18)
G - Anderson 6 yard run (Boyles PAT) (28-18)
M - Owens 30 yard pass from Bradley (Bradley 2PT) (28-26)
M - Maher 32 yard pass from Bradley (2PT Failed) (28-32)
G - Strader 1 yard run (Boyles PAT) (35-32)
|Regular Season Game #3 - September 24, 1976 - GHS Athletic Field
|Article From The Geneseo Republic
Magnificent Is The Word For Macombs Quarterback
"We had said last week that the Macomb quarterback could make things happen." said Geneseo Coach Bob
Reade. "We had hoped he wouldn't do it that well!" The Macomb quarterback, 6'1" 167 lb senior Phil Bradley is
likely to become some sort of folk hero when Geneseos football opponents are discussed at the other end of this
or any other season. He was magnificent, at least. But his team lost.
Almost overlooked because of Bradley's passing was a fine offensive show by the Maple Leafs, who came from
behind three times to win 35-32. When trailing, the Maple Leafs were simply a gas. The first time they were
down, they came back to take the lead in three minutes. The second time, they snorted down the field and went
on top again in two and a half minutes. The third and final time, they needed just a minute and a half.
Bradley did this: completed 21 of 33 pass attempts for 353 yards, four touchdowns, and 16 first downs. He hit
13 of 20 in the second half for 255 yards as Macomb operated out of the shotgun. "It was a case of a guy getting
hot." said Reade about Bradley as the Leaf coach addressed the Geneseo Grid Club Monday afternoon at The
King's Table. "I don't know that our coverage was that poor. If it was poor, it was because we ran into a
tremendous exhibition by one person. There are not many high school quarterbacks who can send receivers so
wide and get the football to them so quickly. He was hard to intercept." A statement echoed by Geneseo players
who said Bradley's passes were like lightning.
Reade noted that Bradley was quick on his feet, and that halfbacks were inserted to rush him, to keep him
moving. He noted too that Macomb sent five pass receivers out during the second half, and that the Bombers
were big inside, enabling them to protect Bradley. And Bradley, nimble not unlike dancer Ben Vereen, protected
himself pretty well. "Offensively, we played well," said Reade "To score 35 points is a good job. All of our backs
ran exceptionally well. Jon (Peterson) did a good job. He hit a couple passes when we needed them. That last
drive was good for us. We were not 'down'. One mistake at the end though and there would have been no
chance to get the ball back."
Bradley's fourth touchdown pass had put Geneseo behind 32-28 with 2:43 left in the game. The Leafs needed to
bite off yardage in big chunks now and could afford no mistakes. Dave Anderson, who did a superb job running
back kickoffs in this game brought the one back to the Leaf 40. Geneseo faked a counter and passed to Strader
for 16 yards then wingback Gary Ong took a pitchout and got 12 more. Strader came out of the backfield and
caught Peterson's well-thrown quick pass and gained 14 yards to the Macomb 18.
Strader hit inside for five yards then Shawn Hart slashed inside 13 yards on the counter to the Macomb 1.
Strader blasted the middle, found it sealed off, then spun off to the right and dived over for the touchdown.
Larry Boyles kicked the extra point. The Leafs led 35-32 but already, Geneseo fans were asking a bit tough in
cheek, had the Leafs scored too quickly? Bradley still had 56 seconds to play with. Well the important thing of
course was that Geneseo was back on top.
Geneseo had moved 60 yards in six plays, in just 1:47 of playing time. After the kickoff, Bradley started from
the Macomb 35 but this time, Geneseo's pass rush combined with a tougher to beat umbrella defense in the
secondary stopped Bradley. Frank Gardner and Ed Ryan hit Bradley for a 10 yard loss, then Chris Ford and
Dennis Brooks set him back 10 more. Bradley threw out of bounds with two seconds left. On the last play,
Bradley fired long for 6'5" Mike Maher. The pass was thrown behind him, a Leaf tipped it back in front but it was
too far for a diving Maher to reach.
Bradley put Geneseo down early with an easy 14 yard touchdown pass to King Kline. Geneseo, faltering during
an earlier possession, boomed 56 yards in eight plays with Strader scoring from the one. Geneseo led 7-6 with
4:44 left in the first quarter. Three times, Macomb hurt itself during Leaf scoring drives by piling on the fallen
Strader after the Geneseo fullback had been sprung for gains. That happened this next Geneseo drive, which
covered 95 yards. Strader finished it with a yard dive and sprint for the touchdown. Geneseo led 13-6 at half,
which allowed Macomb to use its game plan during the second half. The plan: run a shotgun offense.
Macomb's pass receivers did more than catch footballs, thrown like rockets from a man who throws better than
many college quarterbacks. The receivers could run with the ball too. And Bradley threw the ball before they cut
on their very precise patterns. Bradley came out firing and passed 23 yards to 6'5" Mike Maher for a touchdown,
making it 13-12 Geneseo. The Maple Leafs punted and Macomb drove 70 yards, going ahead 18-13 on Jeff
Crawfords one yard plunge with 3:34 left in the third quarter. A long pass to King Kline and a catch & dance by
Terry Owens set up this score.
On the conversion try, sophomore Chris Ford submarined Crawford. Conversions were important because both
teams scored five touchdowns. Macomb converted just once, that a run by Bradley. Geneseo got a two pointer
on a Peterson run and three kicks from Larry Boyles. Now, the Leafs were behind again and they got their act
together in a hurry. Dave Anderson and Strader slashed inside, Macomb dived on Strader late again, and Hart
dived across the goal line on a dandy 8 yard Leaf counter play to cap Geneseo's six play, 61 yard retaliation.
Peterson ran the quarterback option for two and Geneseo led 21-18 near the end of the third quarter.
On the kickoff, Macomb set up the wedge for Owens. The Leafs threw themselves headlong into it with Mike
Oliveira nailing Owens, who fumbled. Brian Wahlheim recovered for Geneseo on the Macomb 29. Strader gained
on a screen pass and a fullback smash inside. Anderson then ran beautifully for a six yard touchdown. Boyles
kicked the extra point and Geneseo was up 28-18 with 11:56 left in the game. Bradley came right back,
marching Macomb 67 yards in the next 2:30. He threw 30 yards to a wide open Owens, who had run a gorgeous
pattern and Macomb had another score to cut the Maple Leafs lead to 28-26 with 9:15 left following Bradley's
two point conversion.
The Leafs sputtered again, fumbling twice before 6'2" Dave Hillyer, one of several big Bomber linemen sacked
Peterson. Bradley got to do it again, this time starting at his own 28. Bradley was like a ghost now, in that he
eluded Leafs who surrounded him, even getting away from some who got a hold of him. He got off a long strike
to Kline, then ran out of bounds with opponents holding his facemask, and Geneseo was penalized. Bradley fired
32 yards to Tom Maher for the touchdown, making him the fourth Bomber to catch a touchdown pass. Macomb
led 32-28 with 2:43 left in the game and Geneseo was getting set for its game winning drive.
"Bradley is the best damn quarterback in this state," said Macomb Coach Charlie Sides. "Our game plan was to
use the shotgun if we were within one touchdown at half. Geneseo wanted to keep him in the pocket. They
didn't want him to run." Reade noted that neither team panicked near the end. "We worked very hard and we
have to be proud. Macomb is an excellent offensive football team. We don't like to give up 32 points but we
can't say we didn't play well. We had an excellent pass rush near the end."
Just after Bradley released his passes, the likes of Brooks, Brian Westemeyer, Mitch Stohl, Ford, Gardner, and
others crashed into him. Commenting about the pounding Bradley took, Sides made a remark which might well
apply to Bradley's play in general: "Just tough as a pine knot, ain't he?"
Geneseo went to 3-0 with Mendota up next while Macomb fell to 1-2 and next faces Quincy Notre Dame.
Macomb, a Class 3A Independent must win the rest of its 10 game schedule to qualify for the state playoffs.
The Green Machine capped off the 1976 season by finishing 13-0 and winning their first of three consecutive 3A
State Championships. Fullback Wayne Strader was named All-American. Macomb finished the 1976 season 7-3
but missed out on the postseason. As for Phil Bradley, he went onto the University of Missouri where he become
one of the schools most decorated athletes in both football and baseball. He was drafted by the Seattle Mariners
in 1981 and played in the majors from 1983-1990. On August 8 1988, in what was supposed to be the first night
game in Wrigley Field history, Bradley lead off the game for the Phillies and homered off the Cubs Rick Sutcliffe.
The game however was cancelled due to rain in the 4th inning and was replayed in it's entirety a month
later.....meaning Bradleys homer did not count in the record books.
See you next week for another Green Machine Classic!