Bearden tops Mo’ East 38-7 despite slow start, penalties

Bearden was bogged down with penalties, a slow start, and a weather delay on Friday night, but the Bulldogs still put up another impressive performance, defeating Morristown East 38-7. After dominating from start to finish last week against Hardin Valley, the Bulldogs (2-0) got off to a slower start against the Hurricanes (0-2), failing to score until they were down 7-0 in the second quarter. “Last week, everything did go our way, we got all the breaks and everything worked,” Coach Brad Taylor said. “And that’s not realistic. A 10 or 15-game football season is not always going to be easy.” The turning point in the game that seemed to spark Bearden’s offense happened in the second quarter, when senior Christian Robinson returned an interception 70 yards into the end zone. A penalty pushed the Bulldogs back to the Hurricanes’ 27-yard line, but they would eventually score on a Nicky Frizen quarterback sneak. “I was just focusing on catching the ball,” Robinson said. “And then I just kept running, and I had those blockers in front of me, and they just helped me all the way through.” Robinson also rushed for a 64-yard touchdown as a part of the Bulldogs’ lethal stable of running backs. Robinson, senior Trent Waters, and junior Josh Walls provided the crux of the offense, each coming through in different times of the game. “We do have a lot of running backs, and really it’s just that competition during practice that helps us out,” Robinson said. “We just push each other every day in practice and see who can beat each other out sometimes.” Much like the offense, the defense only improved as the game progressed. After giving up a touchdown in the second quarter, the Bulldogs were able to shut down the Hurricanes’ option offense and keep them from scoring again. “We had a good game plan going in,” senior linebacker Zack Messing said. “We made sure to contain the quarterback because he’s their best athlete, so as long as we made sure he din’t make any big plays, we seemed pretty successful.” And when Morristown East’s run game was slowed down, they resorted to passing more, and the Bearden secondary took advantage, grabbing three interceptions in the game. “They run the option, so the passing game is really not too much of their game,” Robinson said. “But we were able to shut down the passes that they did throw, and a lot of guys made really good plays out there tonight.” Even though Bearden pulled off another convincing win, they showed some concern over the number of penalties, especially when they cost the team multiple touchdowns. “We were able to overcome those penalties, but we’ve got to eliminate those because they’re not easy to overcome, especially as we go on into our schedule,” Coach Taylor said. The Bulldogs will host William Blount (1-1) in their district opener on Thursday. Bearden beat the Governors 41-33 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.