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High-stepping 16-minute stretch
Rhea Co. stays even with No. 5 BHS for 20 minutes before Young, Williamson lead charge in 33-0 rout

EVENSVILLE — For 20 minutes it was scoreless at Rhea County High School, as the state's Class 6A No. 4-ranked, unbeaten Bearden Bulldogs were unexpectedly struggling against the 1-2 Eagles Friday night.

While Drew Williamson's two touchdown receptions and Devrin Young's 221 all-purpose yards and two long TDs highlighted a 33-0 Bulldogs rout Sept. 9, Samuel Manuel's play was a back-breaker.

Manuel, BHS senior linebacker, scored his first-ever varsity touchdown on an 39-yard interception return early in the third quarter putting the Dawgs up 20-0.

It came during a 16-minute run that included all Bearden points.

“There's nothing like it; the fans erupted, it's real exciting, it gives you chills,” said Manuel, part of a Bulldogs defense recording its first shutout of 2010 with several minus-yardage hits. “I just read the play; the coaches put me in the right situation for the play.”

Head coach Brad Taylor’s Bulldogs improved to 4-0, though the Golden Eagles (1-3) held Young to 59 first-half yards.

“They brought their strong safety down, so they had an extra defender to the strong side, and we had trouble adjusting to it,” Taylor said.

After halftime, “We were able to pick it up,” Taylor added.

Quarterback Kyle Riemer's 48-yard and 28-yard touchdown strikes to Williamson — both in the final 3:58 of the first half — gave BHS a 13-0 halftime cushion.

“Kyle put a good ball on me, and I saw open field and ran just as hard as I could,” Williamson said of the “10-yard out-rout” he turned into the 48-yard score by outrunning Eagles defenders.

Taylor said Riemer “played a really nice game, threw some good balls. And Drew's a playmaker on both sides of the ball.”

Senior Williamson, also a linebacker, led Bearden with eight tackles, including two sacks, while recovering a fumble.

Peyton Landers, senior linebacker, added seven solo stops — including two for minus yardage — plus one assist. Junior defensive back Josh Haney had six solo and one assisted tackle.

“I think our linebackers were really strong, with Drew and Jerron [Brown],” Taylor said.

Brown, a senior, said his Bulldogs “buckled down, we just wanted to shut them down.”

Young, BHS All-state senior running back with 196 yards rushing on 13 carries (51-, 87-yard TDs), now has 18 touchdowns and 1,137 all-purpose yards this season playing the equivalent of about two-and-one-half games.

Other top Bearden defensive plays included recovered fumbles by defensive tackle Michael Mortimer and defensive end Cory Crabtree. Crabtree also disrupted a RCHS reverse, leading to Logan Candela's sack for minus-14. Candela added a minus-two hit. Defensive end Kasey Tyler had two minus-yardage hits.

Defensive lineman Gage Webb had a 0 yard stop, as did DT Chris Jackson. C.J. Terry's kickoff tackle pinned RCHS at its 4.

“I think our defensive ends played better at times,” Tyler said.

Offensively, Haney ripped off runs of 18, 17 and 14 yards, while Christian Robinson added runs of 24 and 10 yards. “Josh Haney did a nice job, especially in the second half,” Taylor said.

Receiver Tyler Callaway had catches of 33 and 14 yards. Stephens added a 13-yard catch.

Dawgs punter Cameron Mitchell boomed a 51-yard punt.


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