The Anderson County Mavericks won every category except where it mattered most — the scoreboard — falling at Bearden 15-12 last Friday night.
“I don’t think there was a series where we struggled to move the ball; it was a lack of consistent execution,” said Davey Gillum, head coach of the Mavericks. “I think we had five fumbled snaps and a few wasted plays where the backfield was going the wrong direction on the play call. We’re not as potent on offense where we score in one or two plays right now, so that type of inconsistency killed quite a few drives.
“The defense played real well overall,” he said. “They gave up two scores, and we’re not happy about that, but we should win a ballgame giving up two scores.”
After a back-and-forth first quarter, the Mavs put together a 14-play, 78-yard drive that was capped by a 17-yard touchdown pass from Cody Miller to Bryson Vowell with just four seconds left in the quarter. The extra point attempt failed, but Anderson County carried a 6-0 lead into the second quarter.
Much of the second quarter was a repeat of the opening frame as both teams traded possessions and field position. The Bulldogs put together a scoring drive late the quarter and Cody Clough scored on a seven-yard run to tie the score. Ethan Ford added the extra point to give Bearden a 7-6 lead heading into halftime.
Both offenses sputtered to open the third quarter with uncharacteristic penalties helping keep Anderson County from getting into a rhythm.
Bearden appeared to be getting a drive going, but Gavin Noe intercepted a pass and returned it 38 yards. Six plays later, Nick Moog scored from four yards out. The two-point conversion failed but the Mavs took a 12-7 lead with 2:16 remaining in the third quarter.
On the next Bearden possession, Zach Shannon sacked the quarterback and forced a fumble. Unfortunately for Anderson County, they could not capitalize on the turnover. They turned the ball over on downs at the Bearden 22-yard-line early in the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs promptly marched 78 yards in 12 plays, aided by a pass-interference call on a crucial third-down play just inside Anderson County territory. Clough scored on a 10-yard run to put Bearden up 13-12. Clough then completed a pass to Max Giesecke for the two-point conversion to give the Bulldogs a 15-12 lead with 4:36 left in the game.
The Mavs pushed the ball just inside Bearden territory, but turned it over on downs with less than a minute left.
Noe led the Mavericks with 96 yards rushing on 18 carries. Moog added 49 yards with a touchdown on 11 rushes.
Miller was 15-24 passing for 142 yards and a touchdown.
Braden Miller had five receptions for 55 yards, and Vowell had five catches for 53 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, Eli Davis led Anderson County with 12 total tackles. Noe had nine tackles and an interception. Shannon had eight tackles with two sacks and a fumble recovery. Anthony White had eight tackles with a sack.
The Mavs fell to 4-5 overall (4-0 in Region 2 4A). They end the regular season this Friday at home against region rival Scott. They have already clinched the region title and will host Seymour on Nov. 5. Should they win that game they will host a game in the second round of the playoffs.