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Mistakes crush Bearden’s home playoff try; rematch with FHS?

In a game with a lot at stake Sevier County got the best of the Bearden Bulldogs with a 19-7 victory Friday Oct. 21, at Bearden Stadium.

Sevier County (8-2 overall, 5-1 in Region 1-5A) secured second place in the region along with a home-field playoff berth.

With the loss the Bulldogs (4-5, 3-2) can finish third in the region with a win Friday at Jefferson County. But Bearden is in the Class 5A state playoffs despite knowing they will open on the road.

"We came out here and we were trying to finish second and we knew if we beat this team we did," BHS senior Jordan Maynard said. "We had it in the back of our minds that this could be our last game on this field and I guess it is now, we tried our best. It just wasn’t good enough."

An early first quarter connection from Phillip Chaney to Corey Watson for 46 yards gave Sevier County a 7-0 lead four minutes into the game.

After a three and out by the Bulldogs on the ensuing drive, BHS was forced to punt and Watson returned it 57 yards for the score to give SCHS a 13-0 lead after the extra point attempt failed with 5:35 left in the first quarter.

The score stayed the same going into halftime and on the Bulldogs second play of the third quarter, BHS quarterback Dawson Halliday found Dontae Bunch for a 61-yard touchdown to make the score 13-7 one minute into the second half.

The Bulldogs had several opportunities to come back, but penalties and turnovers prevented the deed.

"We shot ourselves in the foot too many times," Maynard said. "We had too many big plays that were brought back."

A 61-yard pass play to the Sevier County 4-yard line was called back by off-setting penalties, Eric Pickle's 16-yard touchdown run was taken off the score board because of a chop block penalty, and Halliday's 30-yard touchdown scramble was also negated by a penalty.

Three fumbles and a late interception also played a crucial role in the Bulldogs’ loss. "We had 14 points taken off the board and potentially seven more," BHS head coach Paul Maynard said.

"Basically we had three or four really good drives that we didn’t get anything out of."


As for the current playoff picture, the Bulldogs will like play the No. 2 seed in Region 2-5A. Right now that is Oak Ridge but with Wildcats and Farragut set to dual tomorrow night at ORHS’s Blankenship Field, the loser will likely play host to BHS.

If Farragut does happen to lose against Oak Ridge, the Bulldogs will be licking their chops at the possible rematch of cross-county rival FHS.

"Really we played with [them] and self-destructed against Farragut earlier in the year and if they finish second in the region that is going to give our kids a pretty good feeling about the whole playoff picture,” coach Maynard said.

A 27-17 loss to the Admirals Sept. 9 in Bearden Stadium was the Bulldogs’ fourth straight setback to its arch-rival.

"We would like another shot at Farragut because that is one team that we feel we can beat so that would be a good scenario to have right there,” the coach said. “Of course it would have to be at Farragut and we welcome that notion.

"We walked out of the Farragut game knowing that if we hadn’t self-destructed then we could have won that game.”

A Science Hill loss at Dobyns-Bennett would also secure third place for Bearden in 1-5A.


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