Waters’s big night leads Bulldogs over Eagles, 49-7

Aidan Sears

Coming into the season, Bearden expected big things from Trent Waters, but through the first three games, he hadn’t had a dominating performance. With the Bulldog offense sharing the wealth through the first three games, he hadn’t needed one. Friday night at Rhea County, though, he showed his dominance. Waters’s three touchdowns and 177 yards of total offense led the Bulldogs to a 49-7 win over the Golden Eagles, Bearden’s final non-district game of the season. Those three touchdowns all came in the first half, where Waters made big play after big play. “It feels good to finally be able to shine,” Waters said, “to just play good and show everybody what I can do, so it was important for me.” In the first series for the Bulldogs (4-0, 1-0 District 4-AAA), senior quarterback Nicky Frizen scrambled to avoid a sack and completed a short pass to Waters, who turned it into an 85-yard touchdown. Waters went on to rush for touchdowns of 26 and 44 yards, helping Bearden hold a 28-7 lead at halftime. “It just goes to show if our heads are in it and we’re all in there, we’ve got a lot of guys who can be explosive and a lot of guys we can win with,” Coach Brad Taylor said. Waters also grabbed an interception in the third quarter, contributing to another strong performance by the Bearden linebackers. “We’re strong, we’re really deep, and we’re really experienced,” Waters said. “And we have a lot of players who want to play at the next level, so we’re pretty good.” With their fourth straight game keeping the opponent to fewer than 10 points, the defense only seems to be improving as the season goes along, learning the new system and learning how to play with each other. “We’re playing together as a unit, and I really like that,” junior Kole Matherly said. “We play for the guy right next to us. We’re just a group of brothers playing the game that we love.” The defense was often successful in getting into the backfield of the Golden Eagles (1-3) and giving the linebackers more opportunities to make big plays. “We put in a few new stunts, and Coach called them,” Matherly said. “He switched the 3-4 up to give the linebackers more room to freelance and make plays, and I think we were a little more fired up, too.” The Bulldogs are hoping to see more of this playmaking from the defense as the season goes along. “There’s stuff we’re still learning and we’ll still be correcting with the new defense,” Coach Taylor said, “but they’re running to the football, they’re making plays, and that goes a long way.” Bearden will travel to Lenoir City (3-0, 1-0) next week. The Bulldogs beat the Panthers 21-17 last season. Aidan Sears is the sports editor for The Bark. Follow The Bark on Twitter @BeardenBARK, and like The Bark (Bearden High School) on Facebook.