Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Records: Wm. Blount (1-1), Bearden (2-0)
Previous meeting: The Governors were spoiling for one of the early season’s biggest upsets a year ago, leading the Bulldogs, 10-0, at the half. Super-quick Bearden back Devrin Young, who’s been offered by Stanford, was held to less than 100 yards rushing, but the Bulldogs rallied the final two quarters to extract a 24-10 win. Grayson Beason’s school-record 49-yard field goal helped the Govs to its halftime lead. Two fourth-quarter fumbles doomed the Governors’ upset hopes.
Last week: William Blount shut down Karns to the tune of minus 19 yards rushing on 18 carries. The Governor offense saw junior running back Greg Cook begin to assert himself with a pair of scores. For the second consecutive week, sophomore running back Lane Bloom took it to the house from distance, scampering 63 yards for a score to go with a matching 63-yard burst for six in the opener against Sevier County two weeks ago. Young is coming in red hot after lighting up Jefferson County for a school-record 285 yards rushing in a 49-14 Bulldog blowout. The Division I prospect found the end zone six times, raising his season totals to 419 yards rushing on 17 carries with eight rushing touchdowns, two receiving scores and a touchdown returning a kick.
Keep an eye on: A run defense coming off a big game and one of the state’s top backs already in midseason form; doesn’t get any more classic. Young is gone if he gets on the edge. That’s where players like defensive back Maurice Hurd will have to help linebackers Cole Henry and Logan York keep tabs on the Bearden fast man.
The Governors have the playmakers this season, and Cook and home-run threat Bloom are only the start. Scoring quickly, though, might not be the best strategy against the Bulldogs unless you plan to keep doing it. Bearden dropped 72 on Walker Valley in the opener, and that’s with the mercy rule. Keeping the ball away from the Bearden offense could prove the best approach. Look for quarterback Zach Witt and backs Dalton Wheeler and Bloom to find room to run on the option if William Blount is to put itself in position for a huge district win.