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Dawgs handle Heritage

A win is a win is a win.

Coaches have been saying that for years, and Bearden's 21-7 win over Heritage this past Friday certainly falls into that category.

It was not an artistic masterpiece Oct. 14, but another stepping stone to finish the regular season with some type of momentum. Bearden is now 4-3 overall, 3-2 in 4AAA, while Heritage is 1-7, 0-5.

On a night the weather finally felt like football and Fall Break seemed to take a higher priority than action on the gridiron, Bearden left more than a few points on the board, yet was never seriously challenged.

“It was good to get back to winning after the last two weeks,” BHS head coach Brad Taylor said. “Nicky Frizen made enough plays, and the defense played well. Nicky is definitely an improved player. He's making progress.”

Bearden got off to a fast start, starting its first possession on the Mountaineer 33 and cashing it in in two plays, a 7-yard run by Josh Haney and a 26-yard TD pass from Frizen to Ethan Pollack, wide open down the left hash. That came at the 9:53 mark of the first period.

When told Taylor had mentioned Frizen’s improvement under center, he had a differing response. “I thought I was until this game,” he said. “I wasn’t really setting my feet and was throwing across my body. The short field helped us take advantage. We left a lot of points on the field. We'll do better next week.”

The Bearden defense was shutting off all avenues, leading to good field position for the Bulldogs’ offense.

“The defensive line stepped up,” Kasey Tyler, who had 11 tackles including 3 sacks, said. “Winning in the trenches. The linebackers were filling in on the run. It was an all-around game defensively. This kind of game gets everyone’s spirits high, to propel us to next week.”

Bearden's second drive, starting at the Bulldog 47, looked headed for points, but a 41-yard field goal was way short, a wing and a prayer, and not much else.

Two possessions later, Bearden struck quickly. Haney ran for 15 and 2 yards, Pollack caught an 11-yard pass that moved the chains on third-and-6, and, just like that, Trent Waters hit left end and found the wide-open spaces for a score that made it 14-0.

Bearden lost a drive at the Heritage 33 late in the quarter when Haney was dropped for a 2-yard loss on fourth down, and had another promising march snuffed when Frizen was intercepted at the Mountaineer 15 seconds before halftime.

Haney returned the opening kickoff of the second half 64 yards to the Heritage 28, but Waters, scrambling for extra yardage, lost a fumble at the 16.

Bearden earned its final TD of the night on a 35-yard drive that came after a Jake Jolley fumble recovery. There was a 13-yard pass from Frizen to Zach Messing, Haney runs of 6 and 5, and three runs by Christian Robinson that finally netted the score at the 2:37 mark.

Heritage was showing some occasional life in the second half, moving as close as the 17, but Tyler stopped a promising march goalward with a resounding sack that gave BHS the ball back.

The Mountaineers cranked up a scoring drive late in the game, going 92 yards capped by a 52-yard TD pass on fourth down.

The game ended the regular season home careers for 22 Bulldog seniors, who were honored before the game.


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