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Bulldog backslide
Cougars strike Bearden early on homecoming; ’Dawgs fall to 2-5


Bearden defensive end Vince Terry brings down Campbell County quarterback Brian Slover, but the Cougars had the better of it during this Region 1-5A battle at Bearden Stadium on homecoming night at BHS Friday. Successfully dealing with on-and-off lig- Photos by Marty McCool/www.eventography.net
Homecoming distractions, being flat, dropped passes and the inability to make a big play offensively were reasons Bearden Head Coach Paul Maynard pointed to in explaining his team’s third-consecutive loss–all coming at home.

Tradition doormat Campbell County drew praise from Maynard after the Cougars spoiled BHS homecoming with a 14-6 region win at soggy Bearden Stadium Friday.

Campbell County improves to 3-4 overall, 2-2 in Region 1-5A. Bearden drops to 2-5 overall, 1-3 in the region.

“It was a big disappointment,” Maynard said. “Campbell County’s a lot better team. They elevated their play for us.”

Homecoming was “one big thing I was concerned with,” Maynard said. “Anytime you’ve got a homecoming, I don’t care who you play, there’s a concern.”

Maynard described his own team as “semi-flat” at the opening kickoff. “We weren’t ready to play,” the BHS skipper said.

Recovering a fumble on the game’s opening kickoff, Campbell County went 18 yards in five plays to go up 7-0.

The Cougars grabbed a 14-0 lead just 15 seconds into the second quarter thanks to a nifty 80-yard 13-play drive. It ended with a 20-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-4 –a lob pass to the far corner of the end zone.

However, ”after that, they had I think, somewhere around 50 yards total offense for the next three quarters,” Maynard said. “It woke us up defensively.”

BHS OFFENSE

As for the BHS offense, “we had chances and opportunities to score,” Maynard said. “We had the ball in good field position two or three times and didn’t get anything out of it. We had two or three drives stall because of a penalty. Going through the film, there were 10 situations in the game where we shot ourselves in the foot.

“There were about six passes that should have been caught that either could have been scores or picked up a first down that would possibly lead to a score.”

With less that 30 seconds to play in the game, the Bulldogs were on the verge of being shutout for the first time this season before the Cougars fumbled a punt snap. Matt Gathagen scooped up the loose ball at midfield and ran to the Cougar 17.

BHS sophomore quarterback Eric Pickle then found William Tantum on a 17-yard TD strike in the left corner of the end zone. But only 10 seconds were left. An on-side kick went out of bounds.

“Pickle’s getting better at quarterback,” the BHS head coach said of his 8-of-20 passing performance for 95 of Bearden’s 160 total yards. “He’s still not as accurate as I need for him to be ... but he’s getting better each time out.

“This game he gave us several chances to make a play and we couldn’t do it.”

As for defense, “I know one person that played pretty good was Pop (Marvin) Brown,” Maynard said about his senior linebacker who was named TnBank Player of the Week. “He had a pretty good game for us.”



RECOVERING

Maynard said that a key point of a Sunday meeting with his seniors was to point out how Bearden can still make the playoffs by winning out. “There’s a really, really good possibility that if we win out that we’ll still be in the playoffs,” he said. “We’ve still got the world to gain.

“We’ve got to work harder, we’ve got to get better, and we’ve got to make some plays, that’s just the bottom line,” Maynard added. “That’s haunted us all the way up to this point, we just can’t make a big play offensively.”

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