While the offense may have come out of last Friday’s 59-7 season opening win over Karns as the stars, the Bearden defense certainly held up its part in the win.
The Bulldog defense held Karns to just three first downs and 38 total yards, and much of that can be credited to Bearden’s revamped linebacking corps.
“We played pretty well against Karns,” senior linebacker Alex Majoras said. “There were some things we could’ve improved on, like few missed tackles and missed reads, but I think we played pretty well overall and I’m excited to see how we can play after seeing the film and fixing our mistakes.”
The linebackers, along with the rest of the Bearden defense, will try to post another stout performance when they travel to Powell (TV: beardenbulldogathletics.com) this Friday at 7:30 p.m.
While transferring from the 4-3 to the 4-2-5 increased the number of defenders in the secondary, it lowered the number of linebackers.
Majoras and fellow senior Cameron Miller anchor the Bearden defense as the only starting linebackers, and are in charge of getting the defense set for every snap.
Majoras, who didn’t play football during his sophomore and junior seasons, claimed the starting middle linebacker spot, while Miller holds down the weak side.
Bearden’s new 4-2-5 defense places the linebackers’ focus in the box, rather than the linebackers roaming free like the Bulldogs’ previous scheme.
Though they are focused on the box, the linebackers also are a fixture in pass coverage. This leads Bearden’s two starting linebackers to be the natural leaders of the defense.
“Part of that position is you have to note every single thing that everyone is doing at every single moment,” defensive coordinator Brian Milan said. “It’s a hard position to play and the hardest one on the defense by far.”
Coach Milan mentioned two specific defensive drills in practice, “inside” (for defending the run) and “skele” (for defending the pass), the linebackers are involved in both drills, while defensive line and secondary are absent from one of the two.
“[The linebackers] should be leaders because they have to play in the box, they have to play the run, and they also have to be in coverages, so they practice a lot with both of those units,” Coach Milan said.
Though the linebacker position will have greater responsibility this season, Bearden’s senior starters are up for the challenge.
“If Cam and I can both make plays, I think our defense could have a solid year,” Majoras said.