The rivalry between Bearden and Farragut continues Friday as the Bulldogs play the Admirals on the road.
Like always, this game means a lot to the coaches and players.
“The Farragut game is just a completely different game than any other one all year,” Senior Sam Coffin said. “We circle it on our calendar every year when the schedule comes out.
“There really just isn’t anything like it. There’s so much energy between the student sections to where you feel like you’re not playing in a high school football game anymore.”
Added senior Nick Ingrando: “Farragut week always has a different kind of energy about it. All the players practice and play with a little more ‘swagger’ than usual.”
In 2016, Farragut went on to win a 5A state championship, but this only motivates the Bulldogs (4-3, 1-2 Region 1-6A) even more to get the win against Farragut (7-1, 3-1).
“I feel like now that they have won a state championship, it makes it an even bigger game, especially because we know we should have beat them last year,” sophomore quarterback Collin Ironside said. “This game is going to be treated as revenge from last year.
“It is also even a bigger game this year now that it is a region game.”
The Bulldogs last beat their arch rival in 2012, when quarterback Nicky Frizen led a late rally in regulation and Bearden edged Farragut 48-45 in triple overtime.
Last year against Farragut, Ironside had the breakout game of his freshman campaign, passing for 218 yards and four touchdowns, but Farragut still managed a come-from-behind 28-27 win.
“This year we know we are going to have to make some plays and put some points up on the board on the offensive side of the ball,” Ironside said. “Farragut has a really strong offense this year with a lot of playmakers, so we are going to have to help our defense out by scoring a lot of points.
“I have no doubt in my mind that this game will be played with a ton of energy and emotion, but we just have to play smart and not get any stupid penalties.”
One of Farragut’s key offensive pieces has been 3-star tight end and Tennessee commit Jacob Warren. Despite having a star player in their offense, Bearden is confident in their defensive ability.
“As a defense, our coaches came up with a very good game plan to shut down their offense overall,” said Coffin, who has three interceptions this year. “We plan on being very physical and making our presence known as we always try and do.”