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Bearden barely short as FHS overall streak goes to 8 in a row


For Bearden senior Brandon Pemberton, eight is only a number. Farragut edged out Bearden for a 35-28 double overtime victory to give the Admirals its eight straight win over the Bulldogs Friday, Sept. 14 at Bill Young Field.

In also marked the sixth straight FHS victory in the annual How the West Was Won showdown, presented by U.S. Cellular.

“I’m a senior and most of our team is seniors and it was our last chance to do it,” Pemberton said. “We all gave everything we had every second of the game so, I really don’t feel bad about it.”

For the second week in a row, Bearden found itself in overtime. Last week against Dobyns-Bennett the Bulldogs escaped with an 8-7 win — this week there wasn’t any such luck.

“It comes down to luck,” Bearden coach Brad Taylor said about overtime games. “They were able to make one more play than we did and we had our opportunities and we couldn’t get a win.”

On the first play of overtime, Bearden’s Torey Works, who rushed for 134 yards and two scores, found the end zone with a 10-yard run to put the Bulldogs up 28-21. Farragut answered with an Andrew Martland 8-yard strike to Zach Allen to force a second overtime. Farragut’s Andre Sterling, who rushed for 265 yards on the night, put the Admirals up 35-28 with a 10-yard scoring run.

“We played a really good football team tonight and I think we’ve got a really good football team too,” Taylor said. “They were able to make one more play than we did so you’ve got to tip your hats to them. That’s a heck of an offensive line, heck of a running back and a real good defense.”

Bearden faced a fourth-and-goal on the 2, but quarterback Dawson Halliday couldn’t reach the end zone on a bootleg like he did the previous week.

“This game means a lot,” Taylor said. “It’s a non-region game, but it still means a lot and it hurts.”

It’s a disappointing finish for a team that worked so hard to come back in the second half. After jumping out to a 10-0 lead with 9:43 left in the first half, the Bulldogs watched Farragut score 21 unanswered points to lead 21-10 with 9:02 left in the third quarter.

Then Bearden made its move.

Senior linebacker Preston Rouse made a diving interception off a Martland tipped pass to give the Bulldogs possession on the Farragut 28-yard line in the closing minute of the third quarter. Four plays later Halliday scored on a 1-yard run. Works ran it in for the two-point conversion to close the deficit 21-18 with 11:58 remaining in the game.

After stopping Farragut on fourth-and-goal from the three, the Bulldogs took over on their own 1-yard line with 5:06 remaining in the game. Bearden ran 10 plays, highlighted by a 41-yard diving catch by Madison English, before being faced with a fourth-and-seven on the Farragut 14.

Kicker Brandon Reagan booted a 31-yard field goal to tie the game 21-21 with 55 seconds remaining.

“I am really proud of the way our guys played in the second half,” Taylor said. “These guys came out and that is a football team that I want to coach. I don’t care if they win another ballgame. That is the type of football team in that second half you want to coach. Those guys gave it their all and played with a lot of class and I am really happy about that.”

Bearden knows that the past two seasons they have seen Farragut in the playoffs. Both times they have lost. With that in mind, the Bulldogs senior class may have another shot at beating the Admirals.

“This game doesn’t mean anything,” Pemberton said. “This game is just for morale.”

 

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