CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- The host Bradley Bears didn't have much to cheer about here at Bear Stadium Friday night.
The visiting East Hamilton Hurricanes took advantage of Bradley mistakes to build a 20-7 halftime lead and it only got worse for the Bears in the second half as East Hamilton improved to 3-1 with the impressive 41-7 victory.
Logan Jackson had another outstanding performance as he collected 104 yards rushing in the first half alone and finished with 116 total on 20 carries.
Quarterback Hunter Moore was almost as good throwing the ball as he completed nine of 15 passes for 139 yards and two TDs as the Hurricanes finished the evening with 301 total yards.
And while the offense normally gets most of the recognition, it was the East Hamilton defense that really stood out on this night.
The Hurricanes had not gotten a fumble recovery or an interception since the season-opening slaughter at Signal Mountain, but things changed this week as they picked off four Bradley passes, including one by Austin Gatewood with 2:04 to play that was returned 83 yards for the final touchdown of the game.
Two other interceptions led to Hurricane touchdowns while a botched snap on a punt attempt set the table for the first TD of the evening.
Clayton Steels had booted a 43-yard punt that was downed at the East Hamilton 7, but the Bears were flagged for holding and Steels was forced to kick once more. The snap sailed way over his head and by the time he covered it, the Bears had lost 24 yards and East Hamilton had first down on the Bradley 16.
Jackson had three straight carries with the last covering five yards for the first TD of the game.
Hunter Parker had the second pick for the Hurricanes midway through the second quarter that set the stage for Dallas Hammond's scoring run from the 3.
Bradley then responded with its biggest play of the game as quarterback Bryce Copeland hooked up with Dee Crisp on a 77-yard pass down the middle and the Bears were within 14-7 with 3:55 remaining in the half.
It didn't stay close long as Matt Milita's kickoff return gave the Hurricanes possession at the Bradley 47.
Lamond Greer picked up three on the first-down run before Jackson broke loose for 26 more. Then with 2:52 remaining in the second stanza, Milita zipped 18 yards for East Hamilton's third TD and the difference was 20-7 at intermission.
Moore had two TD passes in the third quarter while Gatewood's 83-yard return was the only score in the fourth.
Tony Francois was on the receiving end of Moore's first TD toss of 23 yards while Cody Knox had a 24-yarder about three minutes later.
"That was a good job," East Hamilton coach Ted Gatewood praised his team in his post-game comments. "That's what we need to do every Friday night," he continued.
"We have to take care of us and what we do best, but I was glad to see our defense get a score. I think it must have just fallen into his arms," he said, referring to his son Austin's interception return for the final TD.
"We were a little sloppy in the second half, but we responded to some stuff. The defense came ready to play. We knew that we had to contain the Copeland kid and I thought we did for the most part," Gatewood added.
Steve Garland is the defensive coordinator for the Hurricanes. He was more proud than a new daddy of the way his defenders responded.
"We challenged them this week as we hadn't had a turnover since the Signal Mountain game. Tonight we had four picks. The Copeland kid is a four-year starter and an outstanding quarterback. We came in here with a ton of respect for him, but we worked hard to contain him.
"I've got to give the guys up front a lot of credit because they pressured him all night. Their play was critical," Garland added.
While Gatewood had the most notable interception with his long return, other picks were recorded by Parker, Tre Herndon and Knox.
Bradley coach Damon Floyd didn't have any answers for his team's lack of execution, nor did he make any excuses for the lopsided defeat.
"We just got whipped. We got outplayed and outcoached. I didn't do my job very well and I'll take the blame. Defensively, East Hamilton played very well, but we have to learn how to execute better on offense. It's frustrating," Floyd added.
Copeland's passing was the only bright spot for the Bears as he completed 16 of 26 passes for 228 yards.
Crisp was his main target as he caught five passes for 130 yards. Cal Pickel also had five grabs for 42.
The Bradley running game was all but non-existent as they finished with 14 yards on 31 attempts.
East Hamilton plays its first district game next week at Brainerd while Bradley will have a week off before hosting Blackman on Sept. 21.
EAST HAMILTON 7 13 14 7 -- 41
BRADLEY 0 7 0 0 -- 7
EH -- Logan Jackson 5 run (Cameron Carter kick), 4:57 left in first;
EH -- Dallas Hammond 3 run (Carter kick), 5:12 left in second;
BRAD -- Dee Crisp 77 pass from Bryce Copeland (Clayton Steels kick), 3:55 left in second;
EH -- Matt Milita 18 run (kick blocked), 2:52 left in second;
EH -- Tony Francois 23 pass from Hunter Moore (Carter kick), 6:44 left in third;
EH -- Cody Knox 24 pass from Moore (Carter kick), 3:57 left in third;
EH -- Austin Gatewood 83 interception return (Carter kick), 2:04 left in fourth.
(email John Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org)