Young rivalry between Bearden, HVA still looking for its first close game


Kendall Norwood

Former Bearden safety Ethan Pollack (24) makes a tackle in last year’s 42-7 Bearden win against HVA. Kole Matherly (35) and Co. are hoping for another blowout win this year.

The Bearden football team has developed an unusual rivalry with this week’s opponent, Hardin Valley.

The newest addition to the collection of West Knoxville rivalries is different because none of the games between the two have been close in score. The Bulldogs (2-4, 2-1 Districtict 4-AAA) and Hawks (3-3, 1-2) have both had their share of lopsided victories and crushing defeats through the past three years.

The Bulldogs won the first meeting 45-9, a playoff game at Bearden in 2010. HVA then opened the 2011 season with a 32-0 shutout of BHS, who answered with a 42-7 win a year ago.

So should fans expect the trend of blowouts to continue Friday night at 7:30 at Hardin Valley?

“The lopsided loss and the victories just show the difference between the lack of preparation we had and the experience we brought through those years,” Bearden senior receiver Emad Aqqad said.

This is also the Hawks’ first year in the district, taking it from just rivalry pride to playoff implications. Another win over HVA would be Bearden’s third out of four games between them; however, the Bulldogs will have to overcome a strong defense to claim another rivalry win.

“We are going to try to establish the run game early and will be tough against their run defense,” captain Kole Matherly said.

Bearden is looking for a win after a rough loss at West on Friday. The Bulldogs have concentrated on figuring out what went wrong and learning from it, so as to improve and prepare for HVA.

“We need to compete more and just put more effort into each play,” Matherly said. “We just needed to finish plays because if we had done that, the result may have been different.”

The Bulldogs are excited to try to redeem themselves against the Hawks, and they will certainly have to execute and bring their best effort to overcome the odds.

“Be looking for a lot of hard work this Friday when it comes gametime,” Matherly said. “Hopefully this game will be lopsided in the right way.”