BY BRIAN HAMILTON
KNOXVILLE – South-Doyle found a way to win a tough matchup with Class 6A Bearden on Friday night 26-7. The final score was a bit deceiving, however, as the Cherokees trailed 7-3 late in the third quarter before bouncing back and pulling away by three scores.
Bearden jumped out to a 7-0 first quarter lead when Nicco Young scored on a 1-yard touchdown run following a blocked punt. The Bulldogs led 7-0 after one quarter of play.
A spectacular one-handed catch by South-Doyle’s Shawn Gary put the Cherokees inside the 20-yard line, resulting in a field goal, cutting the deficit to 7-3 in the second quarter. The Bulldogs clung to a 7-3 lead at halftime.
South-Doyle scored its first touchdown of the night with 1:50 left in the third quarter when Gary caught a 70-yard touchdown from Nick Martin, giving the Cherokees a 10-7 lead.
A pick six by JaMichael Ham gave South-Doyle a two score lead with 10:45 left in the fourth quarter, extending the Cherokees’ lead to 17-7.
The opening touchdown would be all Bearden could muster in the contest, as South-Doyle won going away by a score of 26-7.
The Cherokees remain undefeated at 4-0 and will host Anderson County (1-3) on Friday in a Class 4A Region 2 matchup. Bearden (2-2) will try to avoid back-to-back losses as the Bulldogs host undefeated Maryville (4-0).