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Missed OT extra point allows BHS to edge Rhea

When the games go to overtime these days, there’s always a certain sense of immediate finality when the outcome is decided.

That was the case this past Friday night at Bill Young Field as Bearden (3-1) escaped with a 20-19 decision over Rhea County (0-4), in a game decided by a missed extra point.

There had been a thought that Bearden might lose by the same single digit earlier, when the Bulldog kicking game fell apart, costing the Bulldogs 14 points on the scoreboard and 15 points overall, what with a missed extra point after BHS’s first touchdown.

But these Bulldogs, youthful as they are, have proved to be resilient and somehow managed to bring the Bulldog ship of state home, bloody but unbowed.

A greatly disappointed head coach Brad Taylor called the contest a “step backward” and said the game showed his team’s “inexperience and immaturity.”

One indicator was 13 penalties for 116 yards against the home team, several of which extended drives for the Golden Eagles. Rhea County needed every one of the penalty assessments, given that RCHS could muster only 71 yards total offense.

“This was a good lesson to learn,” Taylor said. “I thought the defense played well. The offense struggled. The penalties were not the way we want to play Bearden football. We need to get better across the board.”

Fans in the stands probably believed that the Golden Eagles couldn’t go the distance down the field against a resolute Bearden defense, but a bad snap from center cost seven points and a fumble cost a touchdown when it was scooped up and run into the end zone.

In addition, Rhea County scored on its first possession of overtime when wide receiver Jeremy Moffett was shockingly wide open down the left side toward the north end of the field on third-and-goal from the 18.

The extra point boot, coming from 25 yards out after a procedure penalty, was a draw to an inside straight, missing badly.

“We had to keep the defensive intensity up,” said Kasey Tyler, a stalwart on defense all night up front. We wanted to play fast to the ball. You can’t get away from the penalties. We have to go to practice and get experience as the season goes on.”

Josh Haney continued his exceptional play with 25 carries for 102 hard-earned yards and three scores, including the game-winner, on which he brushed off a tackler and hightailed it to the far corner.

He had a 34-yard run that led to the tying score, diving mightily at the pylon at the southwest corner, but being ruled inches short of paydirt. He also caught seven passes for 69 yards.

“I had it in my mind that I was going to score,” Haney said of his 8-yard run in overtime. “I wanted to score for the team. We weren’t executing and didn’t play a full game. If we had moved the ball as expected, it wouldn’t have been that close. They had a lot of fight in them.”


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