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’Dawgs win
Bearden cracks victory column with clutch play in 14-7 OT win vs. Karns

It took a very wet and rainy night — plus a game-saving blocked field goal and an overtime touchdown — for the Bearden Bulldogs to get in the win column as they defeated the Karns Beavers in a defense-dominated Region 1-5A game Thursday, Sept. 16, at BHS.

“We played real well, the kids played hard, “BHS head coach Paul Maynard said about the 14-7 OT win. “We had a lot of good things happen.”

Bearden improved its overall record to 1-3, 1-1 in the region. Karns’ record dropped to 1-3 overall, 1-1 in the region.

With the rain and wind picking up throughout the night, the offensive plan for both teams was to try to keep the ball on the ground for the majority of the game.

However, that didn’t stop BHS quarterback Eric Pickle from finding the end zone on a 24-yard touchdown pass to Forrest Sawyer for the first score of the game. The extra point was kicked through the uprights by Matt Reagan, giving BHS a 7-0 lead in the second quarter.

Karns responded to the Bulldog touchdown with one of its own on a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Brandon Harless on the ensuing possession. The touchdown was set up by a 90-yard kickoff return by Renaldo Bell.

The game remained 7-7 and was sent into overtime after Karns’ attempt to win the game with a last-second field goal was blocked by BHS sophomore linebacker Michael Lewis. Lewis added 10 tackles in the game in addition to his game-saving block.

On the second play of overtime, Bulldogs fullback Ryan Goultry bulldozed his way into the end zone on a 7-yard run and with Reagan’s conversion put BHS ahead 14-7. The Bulldog defense stood strong, preventing Karns from gaining any yards on their overtime possession to secure the victory.

BHS senior Ward Houston led the way on defense with 16 tackles, followed by junior defensive back Iiran Rogers with 11. Joining Lewis with 10 tackles was senior defensive tackle Chris Kelton.

Offensively, the Bearden running attack gained 155 yards on 32 carries.

Goultry’s TD scamper in overtime capped off a solid performance, as he finished with 36 yards on five carries filling in for the injured Adam Canter. Canter, a junior who is also a valuable linebacker, suffered a season-ending knee injury according to Maynard.

Senior halfback Rico Goins led Bearden in rushing with 79 yards on 12 carries.

Maynard said he is pleased, but not yet satisfied, with his team’s play. “We are not where we need to be, this is a day-by-day, week-to-week type thing, we have to get better everyday,” he said. “We know we have a long way to go but if we continue getting better everyday the sky is the limit for this team.”

Entering the season with only 10 seniors, Maynard continues to stress that the Bulldogs are a very young team. “Those young kids who had never started in a Bearden High School football game going into this season are figuring it out on both sides of the ball what it takes to compete and win,” Maynard said of his underclassmen. “The effort is there, we have to do a great job coaching and building them.”

Kelton commented about his younger teammates: “They are finally starting to play hard. They are young, but they are coming along.”

The 6-foot-5, 245 pound Kelton said the Bulldogs are headed in the right direction after this win. “It’s our first step on the way, now we are going to go on a roll,” he said. “We had everything in the world to lose, we lost three games, one (region) game. We got six more, we can still finish second, maybe first in the region.”


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