Bearden heads into off week with more experience

Litza Craig

After holding off Lenoir City 21-17 on Friday night, the young Bearden football team goes into its bye week a step closer to being the experienced team Coach Brad Taylor wants. “We have not done well with off weeks in the past few years,” Coach Taylor said. “But I think that it is at a good time in the season.” The Bulldogs (4-1, 2-0) will have two weeks to plan for their upset bid against district rival Maryville (5-0, 2-0) on Sept. 30. Bearden has started this season off well, but will really be put to the test in the back end of the schedule when they not only have to travel to Maryville, but also host Farragut, and travel to West and Catholic. “If we can repeat this week of work (before Lenoir City), then we’ve grown up,” Coach Taylor said. Bearden’s last scoring drive against Lenoir City started with a 34-yard run by quarterback Nicky Frizen off of Bearden’s own 1-yard line. The quarterback sneak turned big gain, halfway through the fourth quarter, gave the Bulldogs enough momentum to get the job done and hold off the Panthers for the homecoming victory. “Good win, tough start,” Frizen said. “But you know we came out and played much better in the second quarter on offense; our defense played great all game.” Trent Waters capped the 99-yard drive with a 12-yard, tackle-breaking touchdown run. Bearden’s other scores came off of a 59-yard run by Josh Haney and 13-yard touchdown pass from Frizen to Zack Messing, both in the second quarter. The Bulldog defense had another great game led by senior linebacker Tyler White and senior defensive end Kasey Tyler. Also, junior Ethan Pollack was a major contributor with five tackles and a forced and recovered fumble. “Ethan is a coach’s player,” Coach Taylor said. “He is one of those guys who are going to do everything you ask; he’s going to give you the most effort, and nobody is going to outwork him because it matters to him and he cares. So it is nice to see him have a good game.” The Panthers scored the first 17 points of the game, thanks in part to two fumble recoveries, a blocked field goal attempt, and an errant a punt snap that put them in great field position.