KNOXVILLE — A lost fumble on a kickoff return late in the third quarter, which quickly turned into a Knoxville West touchdown, was a critical blow to a Bearden team whose defense had just completed a goal-line stand, allowing just a field goal.
Losing 24-2 Saturday evening, Aug. 21, in a rivalry showdown at West against the perennial Class 5A power Runnin’ Rebels, “That was a very pivotal point in the game,” Bulldogs head coach Morgan Shinlever said about the turnover. “... We gave opportunities away, and West capitalized on opportunities.”
Although saying his defense “didn’t tackle well at times” and his offense “didn’t finish blocks,” the coach added, “Our kids played really hard. The scoreboard said 24 points up there, but our defense played a lot better than that.”
Individually, “Sam Tummins played a really good ballgame. He was on offense, defense and special teams. He was probably our most productive offensive player,” Shinlever said about the Bulldogs’ sophomore receiver/defensive back. “On defense he was always around the ball.”
As for BHS quarterbacking, “both are either young or new to the program, so they’re growing,” Shinlever said of senior transfer John Harrison and freshman Drew Parrott. ”We saw some good things from them here and there.”
Bearden travels to Oak Ridge (0-1) Friday, Aug. 27. Opening kickoff is 7 p.m.