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Bratton, Tyson ramp up game at next level

Tyson earns honors

Posted: September 23, 2012 - 12:07am
Rodney Tyson, who played football for Greenbrier and Grovetown, is a star on special teams for Howard University.    Special Photo
Special Photo
Rodney Tyson, who played football for Greenbrier and Grovetown, is a star on special teams for Howard University.

Former Lakeside Panther Brian Bratton, of the Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes, will miss several weeks because of a hyperextended knee.

Bratton was injured on a spectacular play that helped Montreal top Saskatchewan 28-17. Bratton took a short pass from quarterback Anthony Calvillo and raced toward the goal line. Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive back Chris McKenzie met him there and the two collided as Bratton leaped for the end zone. He made the touchdown but was injured in the process.

As always, Bratton was upbeat, stating on his Facebook page that he would “return good as new.” No doubt Bratton would like to return before the Alouettes’ final regular-season game, which is Nov. 3 at Winnipeg. Montreal is currently in first place in the CFL’s Eastern Division at 7-4. Bratton has 24 receptions for 407 yards. Montreal has seven remaining regular-season games.

There is no reason to think Bratton will not return this season. He was not highly recruited out of high school but became an All-American as a freshman at Furman and went on to have one of the finest careers of any wide receiver in Paladins’ history.

Most people did not give him much of a chance to play professionally either, but Bratton has certainly turned the naysayers into believers. Since heading to the CFL and joining the Alouettes in 2007, Bratton has been a model of consistency. He caught 17 passes his first season and between 2008-2011 averaged 53.5 catches per season.

He has also endeared himself to the fans in Montreal, becoming a crowd favorite. Undoubtedly, his disregard for himself on the play in which he was injured will only make them love him more.

Tyson earns honors

Former Grovetown and Greenbrier standout Rodney Tyson – who has dropped the nickname D.J. – had a huge weekend for Howard University. The 5-9, 165-pound sophomore tied a school record with a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown as Howard knocked off Norfolk State 37-36 in an overtime thriller.

During his prep days, Tyson was an All-County running back. After signing to play at Howard he was moved to wide receiver. While he has played sparingly, Tyson has found a way to get on the field with special teams. Last season he averaged 19.0 yards on six kickoff returns and up until Sept. 15 he had yet to get a return this season.

Well, let’s just say getting a shot should not be a problem. Tyson returned three kicks for 156 yards, including the 100-yard return for a touchdown that helped Howard notch a one-point victory.

Tyson’s big day did not go unnoticed. First, he was named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Special Teams Player of the Week. Then he picked up a national award as he was named the College Football Performance National Kick Returner of the Week. His 100-yard return also tied the school record for longest return, held by former All-American Harvey Reed.

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