Indians’ running back breaks rushing record
Who is TaQuan Bradley-Chambers?
Before the summer, nobody in District 11 knew who he was. But now he’s the talk of the town. Surprise!
The senior tailback broke Robbie Frey’s Lehighton High School single-game rushing record with 373 yards on 23 carries with four touchdowns during a huge 41-35 victory over Tamaqua last week. His heroics helped earn him the Times News Player of the Week award.
“Tamaqua plays smash-mouth football,” Bradley-Chambers said. “Hey—I play it too! That’s what I wanted; a smash-mouth football game. I thought they were going to beat us. Every time I scored, or Cody (Scherer) scored, or someone else scored ... they just came right back. In my head, I was like, tell me we’re going to lose.
“I even shed a tear because I thought we weren’t going to make it. But the team brought us back up. Every play, every down, we put our effort into it. That last play when we stopped them, that was the best play ... the defense did it. ”
But TaQuan has come a long way since he first joined the Lehighton program.
“When I first came, I thought coach (Mike) Lusch and coach (Tom) McCarroll were lookin’ at me like I might be a scrub,” said Bradley-Chambers. “The first time on this field, I think we ran ‘gassers’ and I was on the sideline throwing up. I wasn’t in shape. But then I met a couple of seniors and a couple of linemen, they treated me like it was home.
Bradley-Chambers’s daily routine involves getting his class work done, and doing a lot of general reading and football scouting when he’s not at practice. He made one thing clear—he is the ultimate competitor.
“I like the competition,” he said. “At the end of the day, that’s all it’s about. Being better than the next man and trying to out-do the next man. That’s all I was taught growing up.
“My main goal is to go to states. I want to prove to the team and to the coaches that as a team, we’re better than any other team as long we keep our head focused and not have a negative attitude ... when one of your teammates gets mad, you try to bring them up and tell them not to have a negative attitude, which leads to negative things. Positive attitudes lead to good things.”
While all the attention is now on Bradley-Chambers, who leads the Times News area in both rushing yards (1,094) and yards per carry (9.60), Indians’ coach Tom McCarroll mentioned that he doesn’t say much, but he works hard and gets the job done. He praised the tailback’s work ethic and attitude.
“He brings it all,” said McCarroll. “He’s probably as complete a back as we’ve probably had ... he has the ability to stick his foot in the ground and change directions very quickly. He can run away from defenders, but at the end of the day, he’s going to lower the boom when he can.”
The Tribe has had an excellent regular season so far. But to Bradley-Chambers, that isn’t good enough.
“I’m gonna do my best to push us to get us to states—to my last breathe and my last step. If I’m injured, I’m still gonna play. I want to make it to states ... I think we can win states. I think we can beat any team, we just need to keep grinding and keep the positive energy up.”