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BHS survives Sevier, gets playoff shot at Ads

SEVIERVILLE — It was a first round game in the ’09 TSSAA playoffs, but most observers agreed it was played with championship game intensity.

The final was Bearden 35, Sevier County 34 in a contest that went nearly the full 48 minutes before things were settled.

No. 8 seed in the Class 6A east bracket, Bearden (9-2) scored 21 unanswered points in the second, third, and fourth quarters to lead 35-21 with 11:29 to go, and weathered a furious Smoky Bear rally that cut the margin to 35-34 with 1:11 left.

Top seed SCHS (10-1) chose to go for the win, but a pass for the winning points was incomplete well short of the end zone.

When Peyton Landers covered an onsides kick at the Bulldog 49, BHS ran out the clock.

“It’s nerve-racking,” Landers said of the battle for the onsides kick, “but you have to keep your wits and know it’s the game on the line.”

“We luckily had one more point than they did, but it was two good football teams going at it,” head coach Brad Taylor said.

The win sends the Bulldogs to Farragut, 24-7 winners at Ooltewah, Friday, Nov. 13, for the second 2009 version of the long-standing rivalry. Opening kickoff is 7 p.m. Farragut won at BHS, 42-17, Oct. 10.

At SCHS, it was touch-and-go the entire first half. The teams exchanged scores in rapid-fire fashion. Sevier County recovered the opening kickoff at the Bulldog 35, and the race was on.

Bearden countered an early Smoky Bears score with a 65-yard drive highlighted by a Kyle Riemer completion to Landers for 24 and a third-and-20 completion to Tyler Graham that was followed by the first of three Devrin Young TD runs, this one covering six yards. “Devrin played well tonight,” Taylor said. “We knew going in they were going to have everybody up there trying to stop him.”

The next score came after Sevier fumbled a punt recovered by Michael Williams at the 28.

Young found the left side wide open for the score. “... My line did great. ... The score before the half gave us the momentum back and helped us stay in it,” said Young, who ended with 136 rushing yards.

After the Bears went ahead 21-14, Bearden moved quickly to tie things just before the half.

Riemer hit Tyler Callaway for seven on third-and-5 at the Bulldog 35, then again for 11 to the Sevier County 42.

After Riemer ran for 5 more, he calmly hit Max Guthe for the score on the fly pattern down the left side to knot the count 21-21.

BHS’s first score of the second half came on its first possession.

Young hit for 45 to the Bear 12, Landers gained seven to the 5 and Riemer scored from a yard out. Bearden led 28-21.

Two possessions later, Riemer found Stefon Stephens for 49 yards to the 13. Young and Landers ran for 5 each. Young then found the end zone to give the Bulldogs a 14-point lead.

Adam Robertson had a key first quarter interception.

Drew Williamson had eight tackles, while Landers and Dillon Wilker had six tackles each. Both had lost yardage hits.


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