Bearden keeps momentum to beat Heritage, 42-6

After two emotional weeks of football, the Bulldogs needed some time on Friday to get into the flow of the game. As soon as they got started, they were able to take care of business. Bearden was able to overcome early struggles on their way to defeating Heritage 42-6. After a stressful overtime win over Farragut and dealing with injuries to multiple players, the Bulldogs were glad to come out with a strong win. “Just the emotion of last week, it drains you a little bit,” Coach Brad Taylor said. “But we took care of business, we got another win under our belt, and a win’s a win, so it gives us a little something to keep carrying our momentum.” Heritage (0-8, 0-5 District 4-AAA) got the first score of the game with a 57-yard pass from Jake Olvey. They missed the PAT, and Bearden (7-1, 4-1) took the lead after a 5-yard touchdown run from junior Josh Walls. Each of the next three possessions would result in fumbles, until Walls ran for another touchdown after the Bulldogs converted on 3rd-and-23. Once Bearden took the 14-6 lead in the second quarter, they would control the rest of the game. “We came out really slow at the beginning, and we weren’t in the game right away,” senior Christian Robinson said. “I think after we scored the first time we got our heads back on and we were able to come out and play well.” The Bulldogs found most of their success on the ground, with 333 yards between the Bearden running backs. On defense, the Bulldogs returned to their ways of creating turnovers, forcing the Mountaineers into two fumbles, and one interception that Josh Davenport returned for a touchdown. “Our coaches have been helping us out with our defensive schemes,” sophomore linebacker Griffin DeLong said. “They’ve just really helped us get to the ball, and that’s our main emphasis.” Bearden is hoping to keep the momentum going into next week’s game against district rival West (6-2, 3-2). They are hoping not only to learn about their opponent, but to gain some valuable healing. “[West is] extremely athletic, and we’ve got to get some more guys healed up to get ready for those guys, and we’ll start working on them,” Coach Taylor said. One of the players they are hoping to heal is Trent Waters, who did not play against Heritage due to a sprained ankle. The Bulldogs are taking his injury day-to-day, but for now, they are preparing their team in hopes of locking down second place in the district. A win against West would all but clinch that spot. It would then take a Bearden loss to Catholic and Lenoir City wins over Farragut and Maryville for the Bulldogs to drop to third. “We’re just trying to do everything we can the right way and hope everything falls into place,” Robinson said. Aidan Sears is the sports editor for The Bark. Follow The Bark on Twitter @BeardenBARK, and like The Bark (Bearden High School) on Facebook.