Landon Hollinghead

Tellico Plains’ Landon Hollinghead runs against Tyner on Oct. 4.

It wasn’t the way Tellico Plains wanted to end the regular season, but there’s time to make up for it.

The Bears fell 40-6 at Bledsoe County on Friday, concluding their schedule as a No. 4 seed in the playoffs, where they will still have a chance to make a run.

“The offense moved the ball successfully all around the field, but was only able to get into the end zone for one score,” Tellico Plains head coach Jon Rechtorovic said. “Defensively, we gave up too many big plays.”

Bledsoe County (7-3, 3-1 Region 3-2A) took a 7-0 lead on a 71-yard touchdown run, then produced two more scores to go ahead 21-0 at halftime.

A 39-yard touchdown carry pushed the Warriors’ lead to 27-0 with under eight minutes to go in the third quarter. Tellico was able to convert on a fourth-down with a catch by Major Carter, but a fumble cut the Bears’ drive short and kept them off the scoreboard.

The Warriors had extended their advantage to 40 points with less than five minutes remaining in the game, but Tellico freshman Landon Hollinghead threw a touchdown pass to Carter to cut the deficit to 40-6.

That was all the momentum Tellico (3-7, 1-3) could muster, though, as neither team scored again.

Next up

Despite a 3-7 record on the season, Tellico will advance to the TSSAA Class 2A playoffs. The Bears are set to travel to Watertown (8-2, 5-0 Region 4-2A) for a 7 p.m. matchup on Nov. 8.

“The Bears are excited to be back in the state playoffs for (the) first time in 10 years,” Rechtorovic said. “It’s like a new season, win and move on, anything can happen.

“The Bears would like to thank all the fans that have come to the games and supported us and hope the Bear Nation would take the trip to Watertown and continue the support.”

The No. 1-seed Purple Tigers will be a tough draw; they defeated East Robertson 56-20 on Friday and have scored more than 30 points in five games this season.

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