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’Dawgs escape Jeff County upset, will host Soddy-Daisy in playoff opener

In a tightly played game, where every down seemed important, the ultimate difference between winning and losing was something out of the box, something totally unanticipated.

That was the case in Bearden’s 20-13 victory over a Jefferson County contingent (4-6, 1-5 Region 1 5-A) that refused to go quietly in the regular season finale on BHS’s Bill Young Field.

Bearden (8-2, 5-1 and No. 2 in Region 5-A), stymied after taking a 13-0 lead with 5:55 to go in the first half, struck quickly after Drew Williamson grabbed a fumble at the Patriot 41 with 4:43 left.

The idea was that Devrin Young would draw a crowd when he got the ball, so Young took handoff in the backfield, tossed it back to quarterback Ryan Potter, who found Adam Robertson for 33 yards to the Jeff County 8.

“I knew I needed to make a play. I had fumbled the ball earlier in the game, and I knew I had to make up for it,” Robertson said. “I just saw the ball and went up for it. I was happy when they called it.”

After Young ran for 1, he zoomed 7 yards on the next play for the go-ahead score, finding another gear after he cleared the line of scrimmage.

“We had to find something,” head coach Brad Taylor said, “and just hoped it worked. Nothing else worked. Jefferson County played hard. They have had a lot of injuries, and we were very fortunate. Our kids have battled and believed in themselves.

“I don’t think we had our best effort, but we got a win,” he added. “Offensively, it was a lack of focus. Sometimes, it’s not good for us to score on the first drive. Instead of pushing the gas down, we let off of it.”

After the score, Bulldog defenders helped kill the final 3:27, getting the job done very efficiently, with Peyton Landers grabbing an interception with just over a minute to go. It gave 12 Bearden seniors — Will Campbell, Scott Carvin, Patrick Dalton, David Dixon, Tanner Fine, Daniel Gordon, Potter, Reagan, Travis Roberson, Brandon Sapp, D. J. Yeager, and Forrest Young — a final regular season home victory.

Bearden had jumped out 6-0 on its opening possession as Davis Tull made a key third down reception for 12 yards, followed by Young getting open for 20 yards and Potter completing a pass to Landers for 16.

With the ball at the Patriot 9, Young took it in for the score. Reagan’s extra point misfired, leaving the score 6-0. Jefferson County held the ball for 6:37, moving capably down the field, until the first of three lost fumbles kept the Patriots out of the end zone.

Midway in the quarter, Potter scrambled for 11 and a first down and escaped the rush long enough to find Stefon Stephens for 14 another first down at the JC 43. He then found Landers on the left side, and Peyton, getting a key block from Stephens, found the end zone standing up.

“The touchdown catch was a little flat route,” Landers said. “It was open and I picked up some pretty good blocks.”

Jefferson County edged to 13-6 on an 11-yard TD pass from Anthony Goins to Nick Grindstaff just before halftime and tied the game at 13 with 7:55 left in the game, as bullish fullback Will Brooks scored from 27 yards out.

Bearden plays Soddy-Daisy (7-3), the No. 3 finisher from Region 2-5A, Friday, Nov. 7, at home in the first round of the playoffs, with kickoff announced for 7 p. m.


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