Final-seconds pass completes Dawgs comeback

KINGSPORT — It took a fierce fourth-quarter comeback for Bearden High School to erase a double-digit fourth-quarter deficit and notch a huge Region 1-6A road victory over Kingsport Dobyns-Bennett Friday night, Sept. 28.

“We were down by two touchdowns most of the night,” Bulldogs head coach Morgan Shinlever said after watching his squad notch a 33-30 victory over the host Indians at J. Fred Johnson Stadium. “This is a testament to our kids and our community.

“It shows just how much everybody has bought in. This shows how far our program has come since we took over in year one.”

That was four years ago and the only win the Bulldogs could muster came in the season finale. Since then, Bearden (6-1 overall, 2-1 in the region in 2018) has reached the postseason every year.

“There’s no way we could have won this game our first year,” Shinlever said.

But the Bulldogs beat the Indians in this one and an unlikely hero, Condredge Holloway, culminated the comeback when he caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Collin Ironside with eight seconds left in the contest.

Holloway, who also plays defensive end for Bearden, has been shelved throughout much of his high school career due to several injuries. Now making up for lost time, Holloway had five tackles against the Indians (2-4, 1-1) and Shinlever couldn’t be happier.

“It’s nice to see a young man come back from injuries and put together good

things in his final year,” Shinlever said of Holloway.

The Bulldogs trailed 17-7 at halftime and 24-14 heading into the fourth quarter.

In the final frame, Caleb Wilkins had a 2-yard touchdown plunge and Ironside had a pair of scoring strikes in the quarter, including the game-winner to Holloway. The junior also had a 67-yarder to Matt Carr during Bearden’s frenetic comeback push. Carr was BHS’s leading receiver, pulling in seven catches for 137 yards. He also had six tackles on defense.

Ironside used several weapons in the aerial attack at KPDB. Addison Ironside, a tight end and Collin’s older brother, had 68 yards and a touchdown on four catches. Kahlil Abdullah had six catches for 62 yards. Wilkins, who rushed for 67 yards and two scores on 19 carries, also had a 2-yard scoring plunge earlier in the game. He also had 11 tackles on defense.

The Bulldogs also grabbed four interceptions: Ty Serritt, Carr, Wilkins and Shamarcus Brown.