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Bulldog offensive ‘maturity’ evident
Interim grid skipper Taylor puts hat in ring for Bearden top job

Bearden’s ultra-experienced offense is meeting the demands of interim football head coach Brad Taylor during spring practice.

Those expectations weren’t dampened despite a sturdy test against perennial Class 5A power Oak Ridge Friday, May 11, in Bearden Stadium.

“It just showed our maturity, I felt we moved the ball consistently,” Taylor said. “I thought our scrimmage went real well.

“That’s what’s funny, when we first got into offensive huddle ... we have eleven kids in there and all of them are seniors,” the coach added. “There’s definitely potential there to improve and be better than we were last year (7-4).

During early 10-play offensive sessions, senior quarterback Dawson Halliday found four reliable targets — Cory Eichholz, Matt Williamson, Aaron Gray and Logan Maynard. Maynard set up a Torey Works touchdown with a 60-yard reception.

“We had three different explosion plays,” Taylor said. “Our quarterback did really well. ... He was on the money with just about every throw.”

Taylor said the receivers, Works and fullback Brandon Pemberton all “did really well.

“From a physical standpoint I thought we did real well,” Taylor added. “Both our [offensive] line and [defensive] line, I thought, did really well against them.

“Our pass protection, with the offensive line and the backs, even some of our younger backs, did a good job in their pass protection.”

Despite giving up a few big plays defensively, “[Oak Ridge] has got some big-play potential,” Taylor said, adding the Wildcats already had a scrimmage under its belt and two weeks of spring practice versus no scrimmages and “four days” practice for Bearden.

Taylor, 31, confirmed that his coaching cap has been tossed in the ring to be a candidate for the permanent head coaching job.

The former Bulldog standout linebacker/multi-position player (Class of 1994), who went on to become a three-year starting tight-end at Tennessee Tech, was offensive coordinator at BHS from 2001-2004. After one year as quarterbacks coach at CAK, Taylor came back to his alma mater last season as co-coordinator with head coach Bill Wilson.

Due to BHS graduation Friday, May 18, the Maroon and Gray Game has been cancelled. But Cocke County comes to Bearden Stadium for a 6 p.m. scrimmage today (Thursday, May 18).


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