The football fans in Kenosha were at fever pitch in Week 6 of the 2016 season of Badger Max Thursday Night Lights presented by Northwest Surgery Center as Indian Trail Academy and Kenosha Bradford met for the inaugural game in Mary D. Bradford Stadium on Thursday, September 22nd. Enthusiastic fans of all ages filled the stands on the first official night of fall football. Community pride reigned supreme at the opening of Bradford's first-ever football stadium. Alumni, community members, and sponsors all took part in pre-game ceremonies as anticipation for kick-off swelled.
The excitement level was palpable as members of the Kenosha Military Academy presented the Color Guard for the National Anthem performed by Bradford students, and the broadcast's ceremonial game ball was delivered by members of the United States Marine Corps as the crowd honored all members of U.S. Military Branches. The local Salvation Army chapter was on site to collect food and monetary donations from the supportive fans, and Kenosha Advisory Board Member Tammy Garza was honored on site and within the on air broadcast for her efforts and contributions to the mission of "Doing the Most Good" for the youth programs in her community.
The color pink overtook the stands as Kenosha combined forces to to Tackle Pink and support the local charity efforts of Circle of Hope. Both schools showed their support and unity, with Hawk and Red Devil student bodies alike adorning the hue. Donations poured in, with a check presentation and ceremonial balloon release at halftime.
It was clear early on that the game was going to be one to remember. A pair of turnovers by Indian Trail led to two short yardage touchdown runs and a firm grasp on momentum by Bradford in the opening minutes of the first quarter, as they quickly took a 14-0 lead. Looking for an answer, the Hawks found it in the form of a fumble recovery returned 30-yards for a touchdown, and they followed it with a 1-yard touchdown run to knot the score at 14-all heading into the second quarter of play. The score remained tight heading into halftime as the titans traded blows and momentum shifted back and forth during the second quarter. Bradford opened and ended the quarter's scoring efforts with a 23-yard field goal and 5-yard touchdown run, respectively. The 28-23 lead belonged to Indian Trail, however, as they dominated the middle of the quarter and found the end zone via 1-yard run and 28-yard reception.
After opening the second half strong, connecting on a 49-yard touchdown pass, the Hawks saw the ensuing PAT attempt blocked, and turned over the ball via interception on the 1-yard line and fumble as the Red Devils rallied. They scored on a 1-yard run and were successful with a 2-pt conversion to stay in the game. Indian Trail led, 34-31 heading into the fourth quarter. The final 12:00 minutes proved to be a gut check for both teams as they traded touchdown passes, making the score 41-38 in favor of the Hawks. Bradford would stop Indian Trail, forcing a punt and giving themselves a final opportunity to score with 1:21 on the clock and no timeouts remaining. They drove the field, converting on a key 4th & 10 to keep hope alive, but would ultimately miss a 28-yard field goal attempt in the closing seconds. The Hawks would play spoilers on the stadium's opening night, outlasting the Red Devils in a hard-fought, entertaining bout.
FINAL SCORE: Kenosha Indian Trail Academy 41 - Kenosha Bradford 38