Robinette, Rebels too much for Bearden in first half

Jacob Steimer

Bearden fell at No. 1 Maryville 40-6 on Friday night after a near perfect first half performance from the Rebels that showed again why they are the defending state champions. “They’re extremely solid and well coached,” Bearden head coach Brad Taylor said. “That’s nothing new.” Maryville quarterback and University of North Carolina commit Patton Robinette led the Rebels to a 37-0 halftime lead before exiting the ball game. With their starters in, the Rebels (6-0, 3-0) were simply the better team. “They just don’t make any mistakes,” Bearden senior defensive end Kasey Tyler said. Bearden (4-2, 2-1) made plenty of mistakes, however. The Bulldogs had an interception and two fumbles against the tough Rebel defense. “We can’t make the mistakes we made and play with a good football team,” Coach Taylor said. The Bulldogs play another quality district opponent next week, when they host arch-rival Farragut on Thursday. “We’ve got to correct some mistakes and be able to execute better,” Coach Taylor said. One concern is that the Bulldogs will have their heads down after the embarrassing loss. Coach Taylor thinks the short week the Bulldogs have to prepare for the Thursday night game will turn in the Bulldogs’ favor. “The good thing is we’ll have to go right back to work,” Coach Taylor said. Tyler also sees a silver lining in the night’s loss. “For such a young defense, I thought there were a bunch of bright spots,” he said. The defense executed relatively well, and Robinette thinks that they are better than the Bulldog defense he saw twice last year, including in the state quarterfinals. “I definitely think they’re a lot more physical (this year),” Robinette said. The offense didn’t look as good, mainly due to the turnovers, but Maryville was also able to slow down Bearden’s most consistent offensive player this year, running back Josh Haney. “We knew they were going to give the ball to Haney, and I think we contained him pretty well,” Maryville head coach George Quarles said. The Bulldogs scored their only touchdown on a screen pass to Zack Messing in the second half, but Coach Taylor said they will have to be more consistent to beat Farragut, which they have not done since the playoffs in 2007. “We’re going to have to make plays in the passing game, and we didn’t do that,” Coach Taylor said.