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Defense clamps hard as ’Dawgs ground Jets 7-6

CROSSVILLE — With one win under its belt, the Bearden Bulldogs football team has already matched its total wins from the year before. BHS defeated the Cumberland County Jets 7-6 Friday, Aug. 19, at CCHS.

“The first win of the season is the best win, offensively we moved the ball, and defensively I would be surprised if they had much more than one-hundred yards of total offense so we had a good game,” BHS head coach Paul Maynard said.

With a strong defensive effort led by seniors Jordan Maynard and Thomas Wiley, the Bulldogs (1-0) limited the Jets to 141 yards of total offense.

“Wiley made some big plays on defense, and Jordan Maynard had several big plays,” the coach said. Wiley finished the game with 10 tackles and a pass deflection. He also had a crucial forth down stop, tackling the runningback in the backfield as soon as he took the hand-off, and a forced fumble and fumble recovery in the fourth quarter. Maynard had 13 tackles, two deflected passes and two and a half sacks.

“Defensively we played well; we had different people stepping up at different times and offensively we did what we needed to do and moved the chains and kept our defense off the field.

“I think we are turning over a new leaf this season as we know our defense is pretty good and hopefully we can win nine more,” Jordan Maynard said. “It’s been a long time and I think we will carry this into [our] next game.”

On the offensive side of the ball, senior Philip Dampf filled in for injured quarterback Dawson Halliday by throwing for 87 yards on 8-of-13 passing.

The Jets got on the board first with a three yard touchdown run by Casey Patterson. However, the extra point banged into the crossbar to make the score 6-0 in favor of the home team. The run was set up by a 36 yard Patterson scamper on an option play.

The Bulldogs put together a drive right before halftime with a solid passing game mixed up with effective running, but saw their scoring chances vanish when senior tailback Eric Pickle fumbled on the goal line and the Jets recovered in the end zone. The Jets ran out the clock and took the 6-0 lead into the half.

The second half was a defensive battle until BHS sophomore Torey Works broke a 31-yard run up the middle to put the Bulldogs on the Jets 5-yard line to set up an eventual one yard touchdown run by Pickle to avenge his goal-line mishap earlier in the game. Senior Matt Reagan kicked the extra point through to give BHS the 7-6 advantage.

The BHS defense continued to be a force for the rest of the game, preventing any type of comeback attempt by the Jets.

Players and the coach agree that the off-season workouts contributed to the successful opener.

“Fort Sanders did a great job with the kids,” coach Maynard said. “I knew going into the season that we were going to physically be in shape and it was just a matter of coaching the kids up from that point on.”

“We have been conditioning the whole year, they got tired and we stuck it to them,” Jordan Maynard added.

“[The workouts] have definitely paid off, we are faster, stronger and bigger and saw what we had to do and we worked as hard as we could,” Wiley said.

Bearden players said they can enjoy this victory but they realize they still have to improve parts of their game.

“We still have some things we need to correct but we won the ball game and that’s number one,” Wiley said. “We are one-and-O, undefeated, and it can’t be better than that.”


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