Craddock, Castille cap stellar careers

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 9, 2003

Before Friday’s Super 6 Final, Joe Craddock was just one ingredient short of placing a chokehold on the title as most prominent quarterback in Briarwood’s storied football history &045; the senior had yet to lead his team to a state championship.

But the shifty, 5-11, 170-pound athlete put those claims to rest Friday night after leading the Lions to a 31-7 win at Birmingham’s Legion Field.

Craddock passed for 151 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 92 yards and another score on his way to an MVP performance, adding another highlight to a prep football career that includes a tie or sole possession of 14 school records and a top-five ranking in 36 other categories.

Craddock finished the 2003 season with a pass efficiency rating of 1,34.7. He completed 145 of 281 passing attempts for 2218 yards and 21 touchdowns.

But Craddock lit up the scoreboard with his legs as well as his arm. He rushed for 740 yards and 11 touchdowns on 142 attempts while averaging more than five yards a carry.

The combination was enough to help him break the school record for total offense in a season.

Craddock also became the single-season record holder in punting average with nearly 42 yards per punt. He punted 50 times for 2,090 yards, including a long punt of 73 yards.

Craddock ends his high school football stint as the career record-holder in passing attempts, completions, yards and touchdowns.

He finished as Briarwood’s second all-time leader in touchdown responsibility with 100, just two shy of current Alabama Crimson Tider Tim Castille, whose brother Simeon also capped an impressive high school career with Friday’s win.

Simeon Castille, one of the most touted prospects in the state, finished the year with the school record for punt return average in a season and longest kickoff return.

He returned the opening kickoff in the Class 5A semifinals 99 yards for a touchdown to help the Lions defeat Homewood.

Castille had nine interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns, tying a school record.

He also holds a top-five ranking in seven different categories.

Despite all of his accomplishments, Simeon said his brother teased him after Friday’s game for winning only one state championship during his career.

&uot;Me and him were just joking around and he was talking about how he had won two state championships,&uot; Simeon said. &uot;He was real happy for us though.&uot;

Tim Castille played on Briarwood’s 3-A state championship teams in 1998 and 1999.

Senior cornerback and placekicker Ben Bludsworth also ended his career with several school records.

Bludsworth holds a Lions record for consecutive PATs and also for his 13 career field goals. He is tied for the single-season field goal record with 5 and his three interceptions against Homewood in the semifinals tied a single-game mark.

Bludsworth picked off a total of five passes in the 2003 season.

Also entering Briarwood Christian’s record books this season were:

* Brian Crumpler, who had a touchdown in the top 125.

* Charles Hoke, who had a top-five ranking seven times in various categories.

* Brad Nichols, whose fumble return for a touchdown was the sixth longest touchdown play in Briarwood history