On Friday, for the first time in 5 years, Bremen High School and Trion High School met on the football field. This rivalry goes all the way back to 1936 when the two teams first met, a game that Trion won 39-6.
These two teams had played 40 times coming into the match-up Friday. Bremen was leading the series 20-18-2. In the last 15 games, Trion had won 7 and Bremen had won 8. Trion was victorious in 7 straight games from 1991-2003 and Bremen was victorious in the previous 8 (2004-2011).
Not only are these teams historic rivals, but Bremen was still searching for their first win this year, their first win on their new field, and their first win under head coach Davis Russell. Trion, who came into the game 2-0, was ranked 2nd in the GHSA power rankings in single-A.
As you can see, there was a lot on the line Friday for these athletes, and Bremen came out victorious by a score of 40-7.
How it Happened:
Bremen received the opening kickoff and came out with a heavy passing attack from sophomore QB Wade Cartwright. They were able to move the ball down the field with some success on this first drive, but it ended with them having to punt to Trion.
Senior Punter Matthew Reese pinned the Bulldogs on their own three yard line with this punt. Which proved to be huge later on in the drive.
The Trion coaches felt the pressure from the bad field position and decided to call a trick play backed up against their own endzone. The wing-back took a reverse into the endzone and looked downfield for a receiver. Bremen was in excellent coverage, so the Trion player threw the ball out of bounds to avoid an interception.
Unfortunately for Trion, this was called intentional grounding and resulted in a safety since he threw it in his own endzone. This mishap gave Bremen the 2-0 lead and the ball with 9:02 left in the 1st quarter.
Bremen received the kick after the safety and came out passing heavily once again. This time, they moved the ball all the way inside the Trion 10 yard line. Sophomore WR Jalen Dallas took a reverse into the endzone for the Blue Devils, but it was called back due to a holding penalty.
This put them in a bad 3rd and goal from the 18 situation where they could not convert. They dialed up a fade route to senior RB Kyle Bailey, who came down with it, but he did not get a foot in bounds. This forced Bremen to attempt a 35 yard field goal.
Matthew Reese came in and did his job perfectly once again and nailed the 35 yarder giving his team the 5-0 lead mid-way through the 1st quarter.
Trion then took over after making a crucial mistake on their first drive. They got a first down on the first play of the drive with a run play. Then, on the next series, they were sacked and forced into a 3rd and long situation.
The Trion coach called a screen on this play that worked to perfection. The Trion RB took the screen 60+ yards to the house for a touchdown, but it was called back due to a block in the back. Since the penalty was from the spot of the foul, it gave Trion a new set of downs, but took away the touchdown.
A couple plays later, Trion was facing a 3rd and 12 and decided to go to their receiver out on the edge. Senior CB Wade O’Neal was in coverage and knocked the ball down forcing a fourth down. Trion then went back at O’Neal on fourth down, and he came up big once again for the Blue Devils.
The pass fell incomplete and it resulted in a turnover on downs for Trion. This was the last action of the 1st quarter and Bremen would start a new drive at the start of the 2nd.
Penalties were the downfall of Bremen in this first half as they had already taken way one of their touchdowns. This drive was no different. A handful penalties forced Bremen into a bad spot resulting in another punt. This time, Matthew Reese boomed this one all the way down to the Trio one yard line.
Matthew Reese had now forced Trion to start on their own 3 and 1 yard lines after his two punts. This time, Trion was able to make a little ground, but was forced to punt the ball back to the Blue Devils.
Penalties again forced Bremen into a very tough 3rd down situation where they could not convert. They then had to punt the ball back to the second-ranked bulldogs.
Bremen coach Davis Russell was absolutely furious with the offense after this drive. He came over to their huddle and preached to them that they were self-destructing. The Penalties were killing them he said, as he tried to get his players fired up. While Coach Russell was attempting to fire his offensive players up, his defense was doing their job. They forced another Trion punt.
It looked as if Coach Russell’s screaming and yelling worked for the Blue Devils as they were able to find the endzone on the next drive. It was not easy, however, as they used a 3rd and 4th down conversion to get there.
Wade Cartwright was able to get a Trion defender to jump on 4th and 1, giving his team a fresh set of downs. Later in the drive, Cartwright found senior WR Dylan Pearson on a 3rd and short, again giving his team a fresh set of downs.
Wide receiver Jalen Dallas looked determined to find the endzone on the next play as he took a short pass all the way down to the 1 yard line for a gain of roughly 40 yards. Remember, Jalen got his TD in the 1st quarter called back, and now he was just tackled on the 1 yard line. Even though he was not the one who scored, Bremen did find the endzone on a 1 yard run from QB Wade Cartwright.
The two point conversion was converted and this gave Bremen a 13-0 lead with 23.6 seconds left in the half. The teams then took this score into halftime.
This is when my Friday night at the field ended, as I headed back to the radio station for some assistance there. I was able to keep stats in the first half, though.
Bremen QB Wade Cartwright was 8-of-20 passing in the first half. He had 118 yards through the air and also had 4 carries for 19 yards and a TD. Sophomore RB Tyran Dobbs had 4 carries for 18 yards in that 1st half. Senior Kyle Bailey had 2 carries for 10 yards and senior Tee Brown had 1 carry for 1 yard.
Four different receivers caught passes in the 1st half for Bremen. Dylan Pearson was the leader with 5 catches for 58 yards. Sophomore Ben Barrow had 2 catches for 17 yards. Kyle bailey and Jalen Dallas each had one catch for 6 and 40 yards respectively.
I do not have a full recap of the 2nd half, but I do know that Trion came out and scored on their first drive with a 45-yard touchdown run making the score 13-7.
A couple of drives later, Kyle Bailey took the ball 34 yards for a score making the score 20-7. Then, later in the 3rd, he ran it in again from 41 yards out giving his team the 26-7 lead with about 3 mins left in the quarter.
As the 4th quarter began, Jalen Dallas was finally able to get that touchdown that kept eluding him as he took the ball 47 yards for a Bremen score. This made the score 33-7 with 11 minutes left in the 4th quarter.
Tyran Dobbs scored the last touchdown for Bremen very late in the game. This came in the form of a 23-yard run and brought the score to its final, 40-7. Bremen got their first win of 2016 and their first win under their new coach, Davis Russell.
The Blue Devils improved their record to 21-18-2 all-time vs Trion and their 2016 record to 1-2. This loss was the first of the season for Trion and will likely knock them out of the top ten in single-A classification.
Bremen had at least ten penalties in the first half, but it seemed to not phase them too much as they had the lead. The second half must have turned around as they ended up putting it to the Trion Bulldogs.
Bremen’s next action will be against Murray County on September 16th. The game will kick off at 7:30. Murray County is 3-0 this year after wins over Gordon Central, Southeast Whitfield County, and Christian Heritage. This game will begin region play for the Blue Devils.
If you are a parent or relative interested in purchasing pictures, feel free to contact me. The pictures in this article are not all of the ones I took Friday. So, do not hesitate to send me a message and I can see if I have any you may be interested in. I also covered the Bremen vs Bowdon game, and have pictures from that night as well.
Thanks for reading!