Bearden falls to Heritage, looks to regroup against Mo East

Wyeth Wilson, Staff Writer

Bearden got the start they were looking for against Heritage, but it was the Mountaineers who produced the complete game.

An errant snap from Heritage on the second play of the game resulted in a safety, but after that it was all Mountaineers. Heritage scored 43 straight points en route to a 50-14 victory over Bearden on Friday night at Jack Renfro Stadium.

Bearden will try to notch their first win of the season next Friday when they travel to Morristown East.

Heritage (1-1, 1-0 District 4-AAA) was led by quarterback Dustin Richardson, who threw for 257 yards and three touchdowns, and wide receiver Devin Gardner, who totaled 138 receiving yards for two scores.

The Mountaineer defense got in on the act as well, holding Bearden (0-3, 0-1) to just 25 yards rushing for the game.

“We have to become more physical, especially on the offensive and defensive lines,” Bearden Coach Morgan Shinlever said. “That’s where the games are won and lost, and that’s where the ball is going to be moved down the field on either side, so we have to get better with the front.”

The defensive line did step up after halftime, holding Heritage to only five yards rushing.

Bearden’s offense also improved during the second half, and quarterback Cameron Jones finished with 195 yards passing along with one touchdown pass.

“We came out (after halftime) with a fire and a spark that we didn’t have in the first half,” Coach Shinlever said. “It was a little bit of a confidence thing; we saw a little bit of that right near the tail end of the second quarter, and we were able to carry that over.”

But even with the improvement in the second half, Heritage’s 43 first half points were too much to overcome for the Bulldogs.

Heritage racked up 416 yards of total offense, with the majority of that coming during the first two quarters.

Despite the loss, Bearden will start preparing for Morristown East (1-2) immediately.

“We had some guys step up tonight that took advantage of some opportunities and let us know as coaches that they are serious about playing football, and committed to what we’re trying to do,” Coach Shinlever said. “So we found some guys tonight that we can take into next week’s game and feel really good about.”