Bearden rues missed opportunities against Admirals

Jacob Steimer

The Bearden football team missed out on too many opportunities on Thursday night, falling to No. 7 Farragut by a score of 31-14. The Admirals extended their regular season win streak over the Bulldogs to 10. Bearden last won the rivalry game in the state quarterfinals in 2007. On the Bulldogs’ first possession on Thursday, they moved the ball 77 yards down the field, only to have quarterback Nicky Frizen sacked on a fourth-and-goal play. Bearden (4-3, 2-2) went through a similar scenario later in the game. “We didn’t finish drives,” Bearden head coach Brad Taylor said. “We had two drives inside the 10-yard line and we came away with no points.” Farragut (6-1, 4-0) had already scored by the time Bearden’s offense got its first chance. A fumble recovery on the opening kickoff, followed by a 17-yard touchdown run by quarterback Cody Rule gave the Admirals the early lead and all the momentum. “We couldn’t make mistakes,” Coach Taylor said. “And, you know, we lose the turnover battle the first play.” Farragut head coach Eddie Courtney said that play might have been the biggest of the game. “We had to have that,” Coach Courtney said. “We didn’t need to give them any momentum early over here.” Added Rule: “It was nice for us to score first and get our momentum going. If we had let them get momentum, it would have been a dog fight.” After a 65-yard touchdown pass from Frizen to Josh Haney in the second quarter, followed by some tough defense, the Bulldogs did hold a share of the momentum going into halftime. “Momentum was up when we scored,” Haney said. “We were ready to go.” But the momentum did not last into the second half. Jacob Johnson scored on a 55-yard touchdown run on the second play of the third quarter, and Farragut led comfortably 24-7. “They’re a great team, but we had fun tonight,” Rule said. These pivotal moments gave Farragut the win, even though Bearden won on the stat sheet. The Bulldogs had 19 first downs, to Farragut’s 12, and 342 yards of total offense, to Farragut’s 331. Haney had 192 yards of offense (111 rushing) and two touchdowns, not a bad night against a tough Admiral defense. “He is one in a long line of great running backs here at Bearden,” Coach Courtney said. It is the second lopsided loss in a row for the Bulldogs, a tough stretch for a young team to go through. They get one day to rest, and then it’s back to work for the end of the season. “They get a day off from me and football,” Coach Taylor said. “It’s been a long two weeks.” The Bulldogs will host Heritage who has only one win on the year but two weeks to prepare for the Bulldogs. And that team they did beat was Hardin Valley, who handed Bearden a 32-0 loss in the season opener. After Heritage (1-6, 0-4), the Bulldogs will be on the road for the last two weeks, playing at West (4-2, 1-2) then at Catholic (2-4, 0-3). “We got three ball games left,” Coach Taylor said, “and we can win them all.”