Breaking out against HVA, Bulldogs roll

KNOXVILLE — Makai Williams knew he had to help Bearden High School’s football team get its first win.

And the senior running back/defensive back delivered for BHS Thursday, Oct. 1, versus Hardin Valley Academy.

Williams rushed for 163 yards and three touchdowns on offense, and added a 38-yard interception return for a score to lead a 44-20 Bulldogs win at BHS’s Bill Young Field.

“We’ve been working hard, and it always feels good to get a win,” Williams said. “I had my gloves on (for the interception).”

He already had a 37-yard touchdown scamper 22 seconds earlier to give the Bulldogs a 14-0 lead.

Bearden (1-4, 1-1) also scored on its first possession, as it engineered a 10-play, 74-yard drive that ended with a 2-yard touchdown plunge by quarterback John Carlevato.

“You always want to get off to a fast start, and that was big for us tonight,” BHS headcoach Morgan Shinlever said. “This feels really good.It’s great for our kids because they’ve worked hard, and now it’s starting to pay off.”

The Bulldogs extended their advantage to 24-0 after Jack Downey’s 19-yard field goal.

The Hawks (0-7, 0-2) scored a short time later when Caleb Smith threw a 4-yard scoring strike to Braden Schloff.

But the Bulldogs answered when Carlevato connected with Griffen Oros on a 15-yard scoring strike.

It was set up when Reed Frederick blocked a punt. “It’s about time we got a win,” he said. “We needed that.”

The Hawks pulled to within 31-14 when senior quarterback Sam Simpson threw a 32-yard pass to junior Ty Gentry.

But the Bulldogs would answer on Williams’ third rushing touchdown scamper, an 11-yarder, making it 37-14.

Simpson and Gentry would connect on another touchdown pass midway through the final frame before Williams had a 36-yard scoring run to close out the scoring.

“Our kids never gave up. They kept fighting and they learned some things that will help them get better,” HVA head coach Mike Potter said.