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Devrin Express steals show on defense, returns, receiving
Sophomore dominant as Dawgs roll past Carter

Bearden football fans are going to learn a great deal about the exuberance of youth this season. With 38 sophomores on the roster, it looks to be an exciting ride, with enough talent on the Bearden side to make the trip worthwhile.

In Friday night’s season opener at Bill Young Field against a Carter team (0-1) that refused to wilt in the late August heat, Bearden (1-0) jumped to a 24-0 lead 26 seconds into the second quarter and held on for a 27-12 win, with Bulldog defenders making significant second half stops to seal the deal.

“I knew we had talent,” said head coach Brad Taylor. “It was definitely a learning experience. We talk about poise. Can you control things if you get ahead? Good things happened for us early, and that surprised me. I was anxious before the game. I didn’t know what to expect.”

Senior placekicker Brandon Reagan knocked home a field goal on the season’s first drive and three extra points, and added another fielder in the third quarter.

Senior quarterback Ryan Potter kept a steady hand on the Bulldog offense, and the exciting-looking sophomore runningback Devrin Young did nearly everything in the first half, with 39 yards rushing, a 73-yard pass reception for a score, two pass interceptions, a caused fumble and an 82-yard kickoff return, leaving enough time for a last-second Reagan field goal. Remember that name.

“Ryan did a great job,” Taylor said. “He took care of the football and managed the offense. Devrin is a heck of a little ball player who has a lot to learn. The defense bowed its back when it counted.”

In the third quarter, Bulldog defenders stopped one Carter opportunity at the Bulldog 24 after a turnover gave the Hornets the ball at the 35. Brandon Sapp, Young and Stefon Stevens made key plays.

That stop came one series after Carter quarterback Landry Stanton completed a 66-yard TD pass to Caleb Yokley.

Carter reached the Bulldog 5 in the fourth quarter, but BHS defenders, led by Young and Scott Carvin, made the stops.

Potter threw a touchdown pass to Adam Robertson that gave the Bulldogs a 10-0 lead. The sophomore receiver turned a jump ball with two Carter defenders into a 26-yard TD run.

A Carter bobble, one of two on the night along with giving up four interceptions, led to a Potter TD toss to tight-end Davis Tull, as the big sophomore tiptoed the sideline. “I’m starting to read the field a lot better,” Potter, a backup in 2007, said. “The line has picked up and is giving me time to throw. The new starters stepped up.”

Carter’s score with 20.8 seconds left in the second quarter seemed to be the end of the scoring for the half, except that Young, who called the evening’s experience “intimidating,” had one more opportunity and made the most of it.

He returned the kickoff 82 yards to the Carter 15, and Reagan kicked a 32-yarder to extend the lead. “I didn’t hold onto the ball,” Young said when asked to evaluate what many in the stands considered an exceptional performance. “I was also surprised when they caught me on the kickoff return.”

Next Friday, Aug. 29, offers the annual “neighborhood rivalry game” at West. Opening kick-off at WHS’s Bill Wilson Field is 7:30 p.m.


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