A dynamic offense and a stingy defense helped the Hilliard Bradley High School football team finish the regular season unbeaten and earn the program's first playoff victory.

The Jaguars recorded their most wins in a season and won their second consecutive OCC-Cardinal Division title. They also were ThisWeek's Super 7 poll champion.

In the Division I, Region 3 playoffs, second-seeded Bradley defeated seventh-seeded Kettering Fairmont 49-14 before losing to third-seeded Pickerington Central 42-31 to finish 11-1 overall.

Bradley was fifth in the final state poll behind top-ranked Cleveland St. Ignatius.

"We had a great season thanks to our players and our assistant coaches," said coach Mike LoParo, who was ThisWeek's Coach of the Year. "They all did a great job of getting us ready to play, especially defensive coordinator Mike Picetti, offensive coordinator Mike Owens and offensive line coach Mike Walker. Having assistants like them has to improve how we do everything."

Bradley went 6-0 in the OCC-Cardinal and averaged 38.9 points per game and surrendered 13.2.

Senior quarterback Josh Stewart completed 166 of 249 passes for 2,515 yards with 27 touchdowns and 10 interceptions and rushed for 512 yards and nine touchdowns on 110 carries.

His primary receivers were seniors Daevon Anderson (65 receptions, 1,242 yards, 13 touchdowns) and Kory Taylor (55 catches, 911 yards, 9 touchdowns).

Junior running backs Grant Buehl (120 carries, 647 yards, 10 touchdowns) and Jack Richards (111 carries, 582 yards, 10 touchdowns) led a potent rushing attack.

The defense was led by junior linebacker Cannon Blauser (121 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks) and senior linebacker Adam McCardle (98 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries).

"This didn't happen overnight. It's been building for several years after having some 5-5 and 6-4 seasons," LoParo said. "In those years, a foundation was being created in the weight room and in the culture of the program."

shennen@thisweeknews.com

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