published Saturday, October 1st, 2011

Bledsoe outlasts Sequatchie

DUNLAP, Tenn. -- Brandon Smith got greedy, and nobody on the Bledsoe County sideline seemed to mind.

Smith won the duel with Sequatchie County runner Jerry Fain, who rushed for 156 yards and two touchdowns and gave his team its first lead 27 seconds into the final period. But the visiting Warriors rallied for a 21-17 victory as Smith scored his first touchdown of the night with 7:08 to play and added an important two-point conversion.

"Brandon is a tough kid that's never satisfied," Bledsoe coach Jason Reel said. "He's greedy when it comes to picking up yards. He wants everything he can get."

The diminutive junior, who might stand 5-foot-8, was held to 35 first half rushing yards.

"We did what we were supposed to do. We showed up -- and played football -- for four quarters," said Reel, who got his third win in five tries against the host Indians.

"Every year these two teams play as hard as they can. They always fight and compete so hard. There were a few times I would like to have had better situations, but we played well enough to win and that's the most important thing for us."

Smith, though he scored just eight of the Warriors' 21 points, was at times a one-man gang and finished with 113 rushing yards and 128 receiving yards (241 total).

"I did all right, I guess," he said, his body actually quivering from the exertion. "I guess you could say it was heart and determination and willpower. I was not going to let this team down. We won against a great football team."

Bledsoe (5-1, 2-1) climbed into a tie with the Indians (5-2, 2-1) for second place in District 7-AA behind leader Signal Mountain.

The Warriors jumped on top on their first drive with quarterback Cody Holloway hitting Jeremiah Gilbert with an 8-yard pass, but Sequatchie answered on its first possession with Fain getting loose on a 46-yard run.

Gilbert caught a 33-yard pass from Holloway to push the Warriors back in front six minutes into the second period, and the defense limited the Indians to a 27-yard Juan Martinez field goal on two trips inside the Bledsoe 10. Bledsoe took a 13-10 lead into the final period before Sequatchie finally went ahead 17-13 on Fain's 4-yard run. However, Smith scored four minutes later and the Bledsoe defense was up to the task.

"The defense was relentless, especially on those two trips [Sequatchie had] inside our 10 and then in the last few minutes of the game," Reel said.

Tyler Henderson led the way, getting 11 tackles, including four lost-yardage hits.

An unsung hero might be Holloway, who completed 12 of 21 passes for 199 yards.

"He hasn't played well the last couple of weeks," Reel said. "He's had flulike symptoms. To be honest, he has had [mononucleosis]."

about Ward Gossett...

Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...

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