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Dawgs edge M-East for 1st win

After a week spent wondering how the Bearden Bulldogs (1-1) might recover from last week’s free-fall at Hardin Valley Academy, head coach Brad Taylor summed the home-opening win against Morristown East (0-2) in two very specific words.

“We competed.”

Once again the game stats didn’t lie.

Bearden rushed 61 times for 344 yards and dominated the possession time in the second half on an abysmally hot Friday night, Aug. 26, on BHS’s Bill Young Field.

Josh Haney, showing some instinctive moves in the open field, rushed 28 times for 192 yards and two touchdowns.

“Josh is a good back who needs confidence,” Taylor said. “He could have been the starter last year except for Devrin Young.”

Haney, Christian Robinson, Trent Waters and Zack Messing gave the Bulldogs four solid efforts in the rushing game.

“We wondered how they were going to react,” Taylor said. “You just never know. The main thing was we competed. We wanted them to get a taste of success and want more.”

The Bulldogs and Hurricanes combined for 39 of their 53 points in the first half.

Bearden’s defensive unit opened the second half forcing two turnovers, starting with an interception that led to a monster third-quarter drive knocking more than 12 minutes off the clock. But it yielded no points.

Bulldog defenders then forced another turnover, a Hurricanes fumble. They cashed that break in for the score that extended the lead to 28-18.

East closed to the eventual 28-25 margin and got one last chance at their 25, but Bulldogs defenders were up to the task and stopped the Hurricane attack cold and killed the final minutes.

East jumped to an early 6-0 lead, but Bearden got touchdowns from quarterback Nicky Frizen (who led the attack capably), a 37-yard run by Haney on which he turned a potential tackler in a circle out in the open field, and a 40-yarder on which he simply outran everybody.

“We knew we had to take care of the ball,” Frizen said. “Not getting points on the long drive was discouraging, but it helped us win. It was a team effort. This team is resilient. We can’t let one game get us down.”

It was 21-18 at the half.

The East fumble led to a seven-play drive capped by a Robinson TD run with 7:02 left in the game.

“We did what we’ve been coached to do,” Haney said. “The line played their rear ends off. We knew we had to trust our linemen.”


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