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OT thriller keeps streak alive
Final momentum turn means 6 straight U.S. Cellular HWWW Farragut wins vs. BHS


The setting was ripe for Bearden to end Farragut’s football winning streaks during the Sixth Annual How the West Was Won showdown, presented by U.S. Cellular, at BHS Friday, Sept. 14.

If the Maroon-clad atmosphere wasn’t charged enough, Bulldog football coaching legend Bill Young added extra emotion.

Young, who ended his career rivalry against the Admirals with a three-game winning streak, had the Bearden Stadium field named in his honor moments before kickoff (See related pictures below plus story and picture, page 21).

But in huge rivalry game featuring two dramatic momentum shifts near the end, the Admirals made it six straight HWWW victories — eight overall including playoffs — with a 35-28 double overtime triumph.

Micah Devan, middle linebacker/fullback/kicker, added, “That is probably the most intense game I’ve ever played in football. I can’t put into words what eight in a row means. Probably one of the guttiest things that’s going to happen in my high school career.”

“Eight in a row feels great,” FHS quarterback Andrew Martland said. “This is probably one of the best Bearden teams we’ve faced in years. It was a heck of a game, they gave us a great fight, and I’m really expecting to see them again this year in the playoffs.”

Senior standout tailback Andre Sterling rushed for 265 yards (33 carries) and three touchdowns. “It’s hard to beat a team twice, three times, but if you beat ’em eight times in a row that says something,” Sterling said. “We just had that little umph in the end, that’s what pushed us through.”

Bearden seemed ready recreate Young’s 2001 magic — the Bulldogs’ last win in the series — using a interception, a fourth-quarter goal-line stand, a great catch and a go-ahead overtime TD to lead 28-21 in the first OT.

Four downs from rekindling memories of a 49-42 double overtime win of six years ago.

But an 8-yard Zach Allen touchdown reception, a 10-yard Sterling TD run and a dramatic fourth-and-2 stop of BHS quarterback Dawson Halliday on a run around left end settled the issue, delighting hundreds of blue and gray clad FHS students storming newly-named Bill Young Field.

“I was actually expecting it to go up the middle,” defensive end Josh Morrison said of the last play. “Micah made the stop on that, so everything worked out for us.”

Allen said, “I knew the whole way, he was going to try and make a play with his legs. He’s one of the better players in this region, in this area. I tried to come up — I missed him first at about the five[yard-line] or so, but I knew there was people behind me. I think Jonathan Moskal hit him in the legs, and a few more hit him on top. It was over from there.”

Led by Sterling, the Ads (4-0) rallied from an early 10-0 deficit to lead 21-10 after three quarters.

“They came out so emotional because they’ve lost so many in a row, so we had to weather the storm and then we’ve got to play football and we’ll be alright,” said defensive end Jeff Jamison, who ended with nine tackles, two for minus yardage, while forcing a critical fumble.

But a Preston Rouse sliding interception at the FHS 28 with 39 seconds left in the third quarter swung the momentum back to Bearden (3-1 record).

Four plays later — on the first play of the fourth quarter — Halliday snuck into the end zone from a half-yard out. Torey Works’ two-point run cut the edge to 21-18.

Following a 30-yard Lee Van Dyne kick-off return plus a 15-yard face mask penalty, Farragut drove from the BHS 44 to the Bulldog 5, first and goal-to-go. But three runs up the middle gained only three yards, and on fourth-and-goal from the 2, Sterling was stopped a yard short with 5:06 to play.

Comparing the Bearden defense to last season’s BHS unit, “They were much tougher this year I thought,” FHS offensive lineman Will Jackson said. “They had some really quick guys up there, but they were strong as well. They really came off the ball hard. We had to work really hard to move some people around. It was a tough night.”

FHS offensive lineman Brett Courtney said Bearden’s defensive line “was very fast, very quick, and coach [Rusty] Partin did a good job of preparing us for them.”

Halliday’s key third down pass to Cory Eichholtz for 12 yards, plus a roughing the passer penalty, put BHS at its own 32. Four plays later, Madison English’s diving catch of a Halliday bomb down the right side went for 42 yards to the FHS 16.

A third-down pass to the FHS 2 was broken up by Trevoris Bogan, but Brandon Reagan’s 29-yard field goal tied it with 55 seconds to play.

Farragut won the coin toss, and Bearden went on offense first in the opening OT. Works wasted no time, finding an opening up the gut for a 10-yard go-ahead touchdown.

But Martland found Allen open in the middle of the end zone on a second-and-eight pass. Allen ended with six catches for 58 yards and the two TDs. Defensively, the senior safety recorded 10 tackles

Devan, the Admirals leading tackler this season at middle linebacker, converted the extra point, tying the game 28-28. “I was probably the most nervous I’ve ever been in my life, I think, on that first extra point, I had to make it or the game was over,” said Devan, who on top of converting five extra points plus punting and kick-off duties, led FHS with 13 tackles.

Sterling then got loose on a second-and-10 draw play, squirting up the middle to put FHS back ahead 35-28 with Devan’s conversion.

Two Works runs and a Halliday scramble came before Farragut’s fourth-and-two stop of Halliday

The Admirals used a 74-yard, nine play TD drive to curb the early BHS momentum. After his 30-yard run, Sterling score from six yards out, cutting the difference to 10-7 with 6:52 left in the first half.

Jamison’s blind-side hit on a passing Halliday caused a fumble that FHS nose guard Kent Rinehart recovered at the BHS 16 with 5:09 left in the half. Aided by a penalty, Farragut went eight yards in two plays, as Sterling scored from the 2 as FHS led 14-10 at the 4:19 mark.

Beginning with a 31-yard kick-off return from Lee Van Dyne, Farragut opened the third quarter with a 63-yard, eight play scoring drive ending with Allen’s 21-yard TD reception from Martland with 9:02 left in the at the third quarter.

Yet another FHS scoring drive, reaching the BHS 34, was halted by a Sean Cunningham interception and 35-yard return to midfield.

Works got the Bearden faithful going early with a 58-yard TD run down the left sideline less than three minutes into the game. Reagan’s extra-point made it 7-0.

After an exchange of punts, the Bulldogs used a 36-yard Halliday to Cory Eichholtz pass to go from the BHS 36 to the FHS 11. Reagan’s 35-yard field goal made it 10-0 with 9:43 left in the first half.

OTHER FHS STATS

Lawton Johnson had one catch for 11 yards, Van Dyne one for five. Martland finished 9 of 16 passing for 76 yards. Defensively, J.T. Doucette and Will Pearman each had eight stops, Moskal seven, Bogan, Rinehart, Ty Canan and Morrison five each, and Brandon Hylton four..

 

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