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No. 7 Bulldogs beat Sevier Co., win 1-5A crown

Not since 1990 has a Bearden Football team won its region.

The drought ended this year as the state’s No. 7 Bulldogs defeated Sevier County 17-3 Friday, Oct. 26, at BHS’s Bill Young Field. Bearden improved to 8-1 overall, 5-1 in 1-5A.

“It’s been a long time since Bearden has done anything like this,” Bearden senior quarterback Dawson Halliday said. “I am proud of my guys. We have a bigger picture. We want to go far in the playoffs and maybe we can get that state championship. This is great for us, we love it, but we want to move on. We are looking for bigger things.”

Bearden got on the scoreboard after Halliday connected with Aaron Gray for an 11-yard score in the first quarter. Bearden gained possession after senior defensive end Matt Williamson recovered a Sevier County fumble.

Sevier County’s Jamie Cheek made it 7-3 after a 31-yard field goal midway through the second quarter. Halliday scored on a 2-yard sneak to give Bearden a 14-3 lead before halftime.

“When you are looking back it’s big,” Bearden head coach Brad Taylor said about the score before halftime. “But throughout the whole game it seemed like every drive, every first down was important. They are well coached. They have tricks up their sleeves. We were just trying to keep the ball away from them as much as we can, and I think we could of done an even better job.”

Brandon Reagan added a 22-yard field goal in the fourth to close out the scoring and give the defense all it needed to hold on for the win. The Bulldogs defense allowed only 156 yards of offense to Sevier County. Bearden gained 308 yards of total offense, including 234 on the ground. Torey Works did most of the damage, gaining 147 on 26 carries. The senior surpassed the 1,000 yard rushing mark for the season.

“We just came ready,” Halliday said. “We had a good week of practice. I’m not going to say it’s our best game but we got the job done and things went well for us.”

Last year against Sevier County, the Bulldogs trailed the Smoky Bears 35-0 at halftime. This year, the Bulldogs were determined not to make the same mistakes that eventually led to a 42-21 defeat.

“After last year and the fall break we knew we had to come out and play hard and not let the fall break get to us,” Bearden senior Alex Goltry said. “We had practice at 10 in the morning this week. That got us up so we weren’t sluggish this week. I think that helped a lot and we just kept it up all week.”

Even though first-place in the region is wrapped up, the Bulldogs want to finish with a clean sweep. Bearden ends its regular season at Jefferson County Friday (7:30 start) and hopes to carry its winning momentum into the postseason.

“There are still some special things for us to accomplish that haven’t been done around here in a long time,” Taylor said.


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