Bulldogs enjoy fall break with 21-7 win over Heritage

Fall break, senior night, and a game against one-win Heritage set up a relaxed atmosphere for Friday night’s game. Senior kicker Conner McCarty set the mood for the night by putting the opening kickoff into the end zone, one of his best kicks of the year. It only got better from that point, as the Bulldogs cruised to a 21-7 win over the Mountaineers – whose only touchdown came late in the fourth quarter. “Everyone was just out to have a good time and have fun,” senior captain Will Burns said. After the opening kick, the defense came out and backed the Mountaineers (1-7, 0-5) up to their own 9-yard line, forcing a punt that gave their offense the ball just 33 yards from the end zone. “Defense has been keeping us in games,” senior wide receiver Aaron Evans said. “We just have to back them up.” Senior Josh Haney took a 7-yard run up the middle on Bearden’s first play. The Bulldogs (5-3, 3-2) scored on their second. Nicky Frizen hooked up with Ethan Pollack on a 26-yard touchdown pass. “The offense came out quicker than we normally do, which is what we needed,” Evans said. Other Bearden scores came on a 31-yard touchdown run by Trent Waters in the second quarter and a 1-yard touchdown run by Christian Robinson in the third. Heritage’s only score came off a fourth-and-9 desperation heave from midfield. The defense was fairly consistent otherwise, and Burns was happy with the performance. “It was awesome,” Burns said. “I couldn’t have asked for anything different.” Standout performers were senior Kc Tyler with 11½ tackles and three sacks, Burns with 5½ tackles, and Haney with 3½ tackles. “It’s great to go out like that,” Haney said. “It may be the last time we get to play on this field, so it’s nice to go out on a win.” Haney didn’t carry quite his normal workload, as the game always felt in-hand. “Everybody got their chance tonight,” Haney said. It wasn’t a perfect night for Bearden, though. The Bulldogs were out-gained by the Mountaineers and only gained 239 yards of total offense. Bearden also committed two turnovers and had multiple three-and-outs. It will take a slightly more consistent effort to win at West (6-2, 3-2) next week. The Bearden offense may not have their usual number of possessions, as the Rebels will try to keep it on the ground, and out of the hands of the Bulldog offense. “If we stop the run,” Burns said. “We stop them.” Burns won’t mind going back to work to get ready for the Rebels. “We’re excited for West,” Burns said. “Every win helps us get closer to the playoffs.” With Friday’s win against Heritage, the Bulldogs could be as close to one win away from the playoffs, depending on the scenario.