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Homecoming roll
Potter-to-Robertson 79-yard touchdown pushes BHS past Campbell Co. 21-14


JACKSBORO — For the second straight week, Bearden played in someone else’s homecoming game, and, despite a tense moment or two, motored back to West Knoxville with a hard-fought and inspirational win.

In the shadow of Jellico Mountain, Bearden (6-2, 3-1 Region 1-5A) came away with a 21-14 triumph over the Cougars (4-3, 1-2) that reflected well on the emerging character of this rapidly improving Bulldog team, winners of its last four games.


“It wasn’t easy,” head coach Brad Taylor said. “Our kids played hard and really stayed after it. I knew it was going to be a tough game. We had some other guys step up and make plays when we needed them, and that’s going to make us better down the road.”

Locked in a 14-14 deadlock at halftime, the Bulldogs faced first-and-10 at the 21 after a holding penalty on the second half kickoff, one of six for 65 yards on the night. The first series of the second half is often a barometer for the final 24 minutes, foreshadowing those intangibles that determine who wins … and who loses.

All Bearden did was have Ryan Potter find Adam Robertson on the right side. All Robertson did was find the wide open spaces for a 79-yard TD catch and run that, with Brandon Reagan’s extra point, made the score 21-14, and that’s the way it ended.

Bearden had to play all the way to the final seconds, as the Cougars drove down the field in the final moments, finally yielding possession at the Bulldog 9. That brought out every head coaches’ favorite play, the “victory formation” that finally exhausted the clock.

Bearden scored first, when Taylor decided to go for it at the Cougar 31 late in the first quarter. It was fourth-and-4, when Potter completed a TD pass to Davis Tull, Tull sidestepping a defender to complete the scoring play.

“We ran a 5-yard hitch, trying to get the first down,” he said. “I turned around and the defender dove at me. I think he thought I would turn inside, and I turned outside. I stiff-armed him and just ran.”

Campbell County then moved to a 14-7 lead in the second quarter behind Phillip Wells, a tough customer under center all night, who ran 23 yards for a score two plays after a Devrin Young fumble gave the Cougars the short field at the Bulldog 29.

Troy Arnold then had a 34-yard run for a score a few plays after a personal foul let the Cougars out of a major hole at the 10.

That came with 5:46 left, and the Bulldogs had an immediate answer from their 33.

Tanner Fine, who gained 108 yards on five carries, found a hole at center, and, all of a sudden, found himself heading goalward. He completed the 67-yard scoring play, and it was 14-14 with 5:30 to go.

“It was my best game ever,” said Fine, who also added 16 tackles and four assists in an overall solid performance. “I couldn’t have done it without Devrin. They were obviously keying on him. We have a new package with him at quarterback. He handed me the ball, and the line blocked great. They didn’t know I had it.”

Michael Williams found a fumble to blunt one drive, and Young found another to stop the Cougars.

Bearden lost two golden opportunities to extend the lead, twice starting drives in Cougar territory. Sealing the deal was left to a relentless group of Bulldog defenders.

There’s no game next week, but another road game pops up in two weeks: at region foe Sevier County, Friday, Oct. 24. Opening kickoff is 7:30 p.m.

 

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