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Dawgs crush Owls — Govs await
No. 6 Bearden uses dominant defense in 35-0 drubbing; No. 5 WBHS next

Behind a dominating defensive effort, the No. 6-ranked Bearden Bulldogs opened the first round of the state Class 5A playoffs with a 35-0 win against Ooltewah Friday, Nov. 9, at Bill Young Field.

Both teams struggled to find any offensive consistency in the first quarter, but in the second quarter, the Bulldogs (10-1) got things going.

Sean Cunningham scored on a 9-yard run to give Bearden its first score on an 82-yard, 14-play drive. On the ensuing kickoff, Bearden’s Jon Craze pooched the kick short and junior Brandon Sapp knocked the ball loose from an Ooltewah return man and the Bulldogs recovered on the Owls’ 25-yard line.

Senior Torey Works scored the first of his four touchdowns on the night on a 1-yard run with 4:42 remaining in the half.

“We played well really on both sides of the football,” Bearden head coach Brad Taylor said. “Early on they gave us a couple of turnovers and we capitalized on at least one of them and that really helped out.”

The Bearden defense held again and the Bulldogs responded with a 74-yard drive capped by a Works’ 5-yard scoring run to give Bearden a 21-0 lead with 40 seconds remaining in the half.

Works added a 2-yard scoring run with 7:20 left in the third quarter and a 5-yard touchdown run with 8:50 remaining in the game.

“He is fun to watch,” Taylor said about Works. “He is going to give you all he’s got. He is going to run hard and break tackles. He is a good ballplayer.”

The Bearden defense held Ooltewah (6-4) to just 82 yards of total offense and held leading rusher Brian Marshall to 10 yards on 11 carries. The Bulldogs defense forced six Ooltewah turnovers.

“We did a lot of stunts for defense,” said senior defensive back C.J. Gunn, who grabbed two interceptions. “We had a special play for [Marshall] and that slowed him down so that our linebackers can get to him.”

This was Bearden’s first playoff win since 1994, and the Bulldogs play host to No. 5 state-ranked William Blount (9-2), Region 2-5A co-champion and No. 2 seed, Friday, Nov. 16. Opening kick-off is 7 p.m.

The Governors are coming off a 28-0 win against Campbell County last week.

“We want it all,” Works said. “I know that’s kind of greedy but this group of boys that I am with right now have so much heart, so much dedication and so much talent and strive for excellence. I expect nothing less from them and they expect nothing less from me.”


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