After an 0-5 start to the 2019 season, Bearden has now won its past two – both crucial region games that have kept the Bulldogs’ playoff hopes very much alive.
Julian Kendrick blocked a punt and had 12 tackles. Seth Arana blocked two punts and caught a touchdown pass as Bearden beat Jefferson County 42-22 on Friday night, which leaves the Bulldogs tied with Farragut in third place in the region. Four of Bearden’s losses came outside of region play, meaning they have no bearing on making the playoffs.
Bearden’s offense and defense have both improved after a rough start this year, but one area the Bulldogs have been consistently excelling at is special teams.
Arana’s three blocked punts allowed quarterback Collin Ironside and the offense to capitalize on great field position. Additionally, standout kicker Connor Cross has a 75% touchback rate on kickoffs, and he was perfect on Friday. Ja’Quan Williams also had 86 yards in kickoff returns.
On defense, junior Christian Spining recorded 23 total tackles and leads the team with 74 total tackles, despite only playing in four out of Bearden’s seven games due to an injury. The Bulldogs’ defense held the Patriots to -1 passing yards.
Junior Makai Williams had two rushing touchdowns, while Ironside threw three touchdown passes and ran for another.
The team has found a much needed spark, are showing resilience, and are finally healthy after critical injuries in the first part of the season.
Bearden travels to region rival Farragut on Thursday for a 7 p.m. kickoff. The Bulldogs ended a six-year losing streak to the Admirals last year with a 17-13 win at home.