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Fourth-ranked Patriots end Bearden season with a thud, 53-13


There’s a good reason why Jefferson County scored 53 points on Paul Maynard’s Bearden defense Friday in Dandridge.

“It’s probably the best offense in the state,” Maynard said after the state’s fourth-ranked Class 5A Patriots ripped the ’Dawgs 53-13 to close out a disappointing and frustrating 3-7 season.


“If they get beat in the playoffs it’s not going to be because they don’t score points, its going to be because they got outscored.”

With faith in his talented Bulldog defense going into the final game of the 2003 season, “I thought holding them under 20 points was realistic,” Maynard said about a Bearden defense that had not given up more than 20 points all season. “As it turned out, we fumbled once early and gave them another quick score early. Mentally, that kind of took us out of the game.”

The powerful Patriots, who take a 9-1 record into the Class 5A state tournament, wasted no time, getting a 50-yard pass play to set up their first TD less than two minutes into the game.

A long Scooter Houston run set up the second TD at the midway point of the opening quarter. A BHS fumble led to a 45-yard scoring drive, making it 21-0 with 3:14 left in the first quarter.

“They have a good tandem there at runningback,” Maynard said of Houston and (Jeff) Jennings. “They’ve got an inside power game with great speed in Jennings.”

A blocked punt returned for a touchdown made it 27-0 early in the second quarter. It was 33-0 at the half.

There was one not-so-surprising bright spot. “Yes, there was one, Robert (Anderson) got his thousand yards,” Maynard said about his rugged senior runningback/defensive back, who ended 2003 with 1,030 yards after gaining 80 on 18 carries Friday.

Anderson’s 22-yard TD run cut the lead to 33-6 early in the third-quarter.

Sophomore Adam Canter returned a fumble 49 yards early in the fourth quarter for Bearden’s other score.

As for effort Friday, “the kids didn’t lay down at Jefferson County,” Maynard said. “They just didn’t play as hard as they needed to play against that caliber of team. We had that in us, we just didn’t know how do it. They jumped out with a couple of quick touchdowns.”



RUNNING UP THE SCORE

Maynard said he wasn’t pleased that Jefferson County head coach Scott Meadows “tried to run up” the score long after the game was well in hand.

“They desperately tried to run it up as much as they could,” Maynard said. “They had Scooter in there and the score was 39-6 and we hadn’t scored more than two touchdowns on the average all year. And they had him (Scooter) in there in the fourth quarter.

“I’m not mad over that, I just know someday that what goes around will come around,” Maynard added. “That bothered me a little bit during the game as to why he did that.” Maynard said he did not confront the Jefferson County head coach about the situation upon their post-game handshake.

Saying that Houston “really didn’t get that much” after a couple of big plays early in the game, “I think that was one reason why he was kept in the game, so he would get his yardage that equalled to his buddy there (Jennings),” Maynard said.



REFLECTIONS

As for a rough 2003 season, “that record could have been totally reversed,” Maynard said. “We lose a game to Farragut that shouldn’t have been a loss, and then after that we play two teams and got wins that we should have gotten wins (Karns and South-Doyle).”

Maynard said the crushing 10-7 loss to arch-rival Farragut in early September — which included an FHS touchdown on a blown call and a last-second Admiral field goal — “may have had some impact, I don’t know,” the coach said.

“If we had won that game maybe we get on a roll and won the rest of ‘em, I don’t know.”

Although adding that his Bulldogs “were playing pretty good ball” in the weeks after the Farragut loss, Maynard said the Campbell County loss in mid-October “kind of did us in, I think.

“We couldn’t get a break,” Maynard added. “I told the kids Friday night after the game, ‘I want to question why? But I can’t’ ... we could have gotten a play here, a play there, and been 7-3 easily.”



SENIORS AND THE FUTURE

Anderson was Maynard’s focus when asked about his senior class.

“Robert, he’s a workhorse, he carried us,” Maynard said, adding that with a little more balance to the offense “he might have had 1,500 yards.

“You’ve got to tip your hat off to him, cause he ran hard and he didn’t give up.”

Although losing Anderson and several talented seniors, especially on defense, “I’ve got a fantastic JV (junior varsity) team that’s coming up,” Maynard said about 2004. “They were undefeated, they play hard and they play with emotion. I’m looking forward to that.”

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