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Taylor: Bulldogs head to Carter ‘pretty far along’

If Bearden needed any reassurance that its offense is ready for the 2007 season, it was proven with an opening drive score against Knoxville Catholic Friday, Aug. 17, in the Knoxville Orthopedic Clinic Kick-Off Classic at Farragut’s Bill Clabo Field.

The game ended in a 7-7 tie.

Bearden senior quarterback Dawson Halliday knew he would only have one drive to get into the end zone, and he did just that with a four-yard scamper to cap off a 12-play, 5:16 drive.

“We were going to let our [first string] get one series,” Bearden head coach Brad Taylor said. “We’ve got a game next week. We scrimmaged last night so we came out here and got one series and gave some other kids that chance to play in the jamboree.”

Making the most of his opportunity, Halliday orchestrated the scoring drive to near perfection. The senior was 3-of-5 passing for 46 yards. His main target was senior Cory Eichholtz who caught two passes for 23 and 21 yards. Senior tailback Torey Works gained 20 yards on six carries, including a key fourth-and-one conversion.

“I’m real proud of the guys for picking up what they threw at us since we didn’t know a lot about them,” Halliday said. “I thought we did real well. We kept our heads, stepped up and made some plays.”

Catholic answered with a Jacob Giles 1-yard touchdown run to tie the game 7-7 with 3:49 remaining. Giles gained 26 yards on three carries for the Irish.

“We did okay, we didn’t do great,” Works said. “We are still working. We are working every day on new stuff, new plays, new people, basically new everything. We have broken everything down and we are rebuilding so we can have a good foundation and hopefully win a few ballgames.”

Bearden’s preseason has been full of solid competition. The Bulldogs traveled to Cookeville last week to play Cookeville, Oak Ridge and Blackman. Thursday, Aug. 16, the Bulldogs hosted Morristown East.

“We did a three-way down in Cookeville where there was a lot of good competition,” Taylor said. “We scrimmaged Morristown East last night. I thought we were very consistent in moving the football. We scored six of the seven possessions so I was really pleased with that.”

Going into the opening week of the season, Taylor feels like his team is ready to go.

“I feel like we are pretty far along,” Taylor said. “I feel good with where we are at and that’s because we’ve got such experience. Some of the old guys have been playing for a while and they are maybe a little bit farther ahead than some people.”

The Bulldogs open the season Friday, Aug. 24, at Carter. It’s going to be a test, but Halliday feels like his team will be ready when it’s time to take the field.

“We are going to watch film and get our minds right,” Halliday said. “We are going to have a good week of practice. We have a lot of seniors with a lot of experience, so hopefully we will get our heads right and come into the Carter game ready to go. I know Carter always has a great ballclub so we better be ready to go.”


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