November 9, 2013
It took Broadway by storm in 57. The Leonard Bernstein musical West Side Story spun a tale of a battle between rival gangs in the hardscrabble backstreets of New York.
Fast forward 56 years and the Jets and Sharks are at it again.
Instead of the shadowy underbelly of the Big Apple, this showdown took place under the bright lights of Citizens Field in Gainesville Friday night.
This time you can name it Eastside Story.
The big and athletic 5A Eastside Rams ambushed the Tornadoes with an agressive set of play calls, to include fake field goals, halfback passes and onside kicks. They were the Jets-with breathtaking speed at the skill positions.
Bradford never backed down and continued to chew away at Eastside leads like hungry sharks to stay within striking distance. Junior Quarterback Jacob Luke performed valiantly against the Eastside pressure, continually taking bites out of the Eastside defense with huge scrambles.
However, when the final curtain fell, the Jets had held off the Shark attack 38-25.
Now the show must go on for at least another week as Bradford (3-6) will travel to Jacksonville Friday to challenge the mighty Vikings of Raines in round one of the state playoffs.
Another classic show also debuted on Broadway in 1957 in The Music Man. With an impending playoff road tilt against a powerful Raines squad straight ahead, the Tornadoes will either have to face the music or orchestrate a huge upset that will provide a most satisfying encore to what has been a tough regular season.