Offense continues to roll as Dogs rout Govs, 37-3

Aidan Sears

After last week’s slow start and injuries to some key players, Bearden was able to come home on Thursday and take care of business against William Blount, 37-3. The Bulldogs (3-0, 1-0 District 4-AAA) scored 28 of those points in the first 12 minutes, 38 seconds of the game and after last week’s first half struggles, they were hoping to get into a rhythm as early as they could. “In the papers they said we had a tendency to get out to a slow start,” said junior running back Josh Walls, who had three touchdowns in the game and 100 yards rushing. “So we just wanted to come out firing in the first quarter and prove them wrong.” After Walls scored on the first drive of the game, Bearden started its second drive at its own 1-yard line. They were able to drive the ball 99 yards, culminating in a diving touchdown catch by senior Eric Graham on a perfect throw from Nicky Frizen. Graham then came through with an interception, and the Bulldogs scored just a few plays later on Frizen’s touchdown pass to Trent Waters, giving them a 21-0 lead at the beginning of the second quarter. “The offense is clicking well, and it won’t always be like that, but that’s nice,” Coach Brad Taylor said. “In some games, you feel like it should be like that, so the offense is playing really well, really balanced, and that’s exciting.” Through just the first three games of the season, Graham and senior receivers Ethan Pollack and Hunter Johnson have all had their big moments, and have shown improved connection with their quarterback. “We’ve been playing together for like five years, and it’s just a lot of chemistry,” Graham said. “You’ve got three different guys, and you can’t cover all of them.” The defense may have had their best showing of the season, keeping the Governors (1-2, 0-1) scoreless except for a 50-yard field goal in the third quarter. With injuries to linebacker Griffin DeLong and lineman Caleb Bartlett, other players were called to step up, and they answered. “High school teams are only so deep, but everybody’s going to have injuries,” Coach Taylor said. “People are going to have to step up, and I thought we did a good job tonight.” DeLong and Bartlett are only expected to miss only a few games, but for the mean time, the Bulldog defense keeps improving. “I think we’ve gained a lot of experience on the defensive side of the ball, really on both sides of the ball,” Coach Taylor said. “We’re experienced in some key positions, and I think the defensive scheme helps.” As Bearden keeps the momentum going with a third decisive win, their hopes and expectations for the rest of the season only continue to grow. “Last year we just didn’t have it, but this year, we got it,” Graham said. The Bulldogs will travel to Rhea County (1-2) next Friday for their last non-district game of the year. The Bulldogs beat the Golden Eagles 20-19 in overtime 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.