Gary Rankin teams have always been physical, but Tuesday at Alcoa this was really something to see.
Alcoa delivered a dominating display in its final preseason tune up before Friday's jamboree at Maryville by routing Bearden, 28-7 in a half of live scrimmage work on Goddard Field.
"It was a good half for us," Rankin said. "We talked about we need to know what we looked like as a team. If that's an indication, we're a lot further along than we thought."
Tornado quarterback Peyton Wall burned the Bulldogs both running and throwing. The senior left-hander had touchdown throws of 33 and 70 yards to Malik Love and Brenden Teeter, respectively.
Wall sparked Alcoa's ground game with several long runs on the quarterback draw. All-State halfback Jaquez Tyson zinged the Bulldogs for a 19-yard touchdown.
All-State tackle Braylon Young set the tone for Alcoa defensively on Bearden's first snap by knifing into the Bulldog backfield to drop speedster Malachi Horton at the line of scrimmage. Bearden, with three first downs over a half of play, dodged the shutout in the closing minutes.
Alcoa answered in two plays, with senior Shawn Love sprinting off left tackle to run 69 yards untouched as the horn sounded.
Alcoa went 75 yards in 12 plays with the opening kickoff to take a 7-0 lead. Tyson cut back twice on a 19-yard scoring run for the points.
Bearden's opening possession generated 12 yards, after which the Tornadoes put together an 80-yard march for a 14-0 lead.
Wall found Malik Love running free behind the Bearden secondary for the touchdown.
With two minutes to play, Wall found Teeter behind the linebackers on first-and-10, and the sophomore tight end made a couple moves, picked up a pair of blocks downfield and went 70 yards for a 21-0 advantage.
Horton escaped a tackle in the backfield with just over a minute left, reversing field to run 67 yards to first-and-goal at the Alcoa nine before Tornado defensive back John Riley
McLaughlin ran him down. Bearden quarterback Xavier Johnson found Emad Aqqad two plays later for the Bulldog score.