What do Brandon Bender and Rocky Balboa Have In Common?

Here is an excerpt from Jeff Sentell’s March 9, 2009 article(http://blog.al.com/sentell/2009/11/jeff_sentells_game_of_the_week_6.html) about now Jacksonville State Player Brandon Bender:

Brandon Bender is very good at making tacklers miss. How did the McAdory junior quarterback get so good? Have you ever seen the tale of boxer Rocky Balboa on the silver screen?

Balboa and Bender have something in common. Both chased chicken to speed up their feet. When Bender was between the ages of 6 and 8 years, he chased chicken on his grandfather Jessie’s farm.

That farm had about 30 or so chickens. Bender tried to catch them just about every day. That’s what allowed him to make a few Pleasant Grove tacklers look silly Friday night along with McAdory’s devastation of a good Pleasant Grove football team by a 42-14 count.

Brandon Bender’s quick escapes helped McAdory roll past Pleasant Grove. (The Birmingham News / Mark Almond)”It used to be crazy,” Bender said. “Because those chickens were quick. I never caught one. I almost caught one. I used to dive and come into the house and be dirty. I didn’t mind, though. It was fine. It made me better by making my feet quicker and my cuts sharper.”

Those chickens must still be running around. That’s because Bender is one of the area’s most elusive players in the open field. Woodlawn’s Chris Davis might dodge more defenders. Hoover’s Josh Magee might be in that class, too. But that’s about it.

“I’m not just saying this, but he’s done stuff like that all year in those situations,” McAdory coach David Powell said. “Somehow he comes out of the pile like that and finds somebody open. He’s just unbelievable.””

For the rest of the article, use the link above.

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