Bearcats lose to TCC in overtime, 17-14

Published 10:52pm Friday, October 5, 2012

BY JUSTIN SCHUVER and JOE CRINE
Managing Editor and Sports Editor 

THOMASVILLE, Ga. — Thomas County Central kicker Gavin Wilson kicked a 34-yard field goal in overtime, as the No. 6-ranked Yellow Jackets topped Bainbridge, 17-14, Friday night at Thomas County Stadium.

Bainbridge got the ball first in the overtime and was primed to score when a Bearcat offensive player fumbled into the end zone and the Yellow Jackets recovered.

The Bearcats (3-2, 0-1 in Region 1-AAAAA) also had a chance to win late in regulation, when Cameron McDowell appeared to score on a 56-yard punt return with 10.1 seconds left. However, the score was nullified by a clipping penalty, and the Bearcats instead got the ball on the Central 44. Preston Norris attempted two passes to get close to field goal range, but both were incomplete and time expired in regulation.

“We played our butts off, and they played their butts off,” Bainbridge coach Ed Pilcher said. “I’m proud of the kids and the way they battled.”

The teams were tied 7-7 at halftime, before Central took a lead late in the third quarter. Quarterback Adam Choice scored on a 32-yard keeper around the right side, and Wilson added the extra point to put the Jackets ahead 14-7 with 38.8 seconds left in the third.

Bainbridge tied the game in the fourth quarter, after recovering a Choice fumble on the Jackets’ 35-yard-line with 10:26 left in the game. Lewis scored a 2-yard touchdown run and Daniel Provence added the extra point with 8:52 left to tie the game at 14-14.

Lewis finished with 23 carries for 95 yards and a touchdown.

“We’re hoping that we get a chance to play Central again [in the playoffs],” said Lewis, a senior. “We didn’t think that we were the underdog; we felt that we would come out and play our game.”

Central coach Bill Shaver, an assistant to Pilcher during Pilcher’s years as the Central head coach, said his team got a battle from the Bearcats.

“We know that we were lucky to get a win tonight,” Shaver said. “[Bainbridge] is a very good team, especially defensively.”

Bainbridge took a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter, when Michael Stubbs scored on a 5-yard touchdown run with 11:06 remaining in the quarter. Provence added the extra point.

The Bearcats appeared to have scored much earlier in the drive, when Terry Lewis broke away for a 45-yard run to the endzone. However, the touchdown was called back on a holding penalty, putting the ball at the Central 40. Eight plays later, Stubbs scored.

A key play in the drive was a facemask penalty on the Jackets, which moved the ball from the Central 24 to the Central 12.

Central tied the game with 4:12 left in the second quarter, when Choice scored on a 5-yard touchdown run. Choice finished with 25 carries for 160 yards, and two touchdowns, but also lost two fumbles.
Bainbridge’s next game is a region matchup on the road against Harris County on Friday, Oct. 12.

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