Bearcats ready for rivalry gamePublished 11:28am Tuesday, September 3, 2013
It’s a big week for Bainbridge Bearcat football. Coming off a tough 3-0 season-opening win against East Gadsden (Fla.) High School, the Bearcats travel east on U.S. Highway 84 to play rival Cairo High School on Friday night. Kick-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
The Bearcats did not play last week and Head Coach Jeff Littleton said the off-week allowed some of his players to get healthy.
“Injury-wise, the off week helped,” Littleton said, “We have some guys banged up and they are close to being 100 percent healthy.”
Running back Aaron Calloway, who the coaching staff indicated would play a major role in the Bearcat offense this season, is still battling a nagging ankle injury and didn’t see much playing time in the opening game.
“Calloway is getting better,” Littleton said. “He’s close to 100 percent and should see more time this week.”
Senior center Tate Griffin and junior tight end Hudson Reynolds will also see their first game play of the year this Friday after not playing in the opener.
Littleton: Syrupmakers are physical
Cairo is coming off a 21-10 season-opening loss to Thomasville High School and enters the game with a 0-1 record.
“They are physical, team-wise, up front on both sides of the ball,” said Littleton. “They also have a first-year quarterback who is very tough, shifty, and mobile.”
Stacey Masten leads Cairo’s offense at quarterback and Johntavis Johnson is the Syrupmakers’ leading rusher.
If the scores of the last two Bainbridge-Cairo games, 17-14 both years, are any indication, the reliable kicking of the Bearcats’ Daniel Provence will come into play Friday night.
Bainbridge won both of those games and has won three of the last four games against the Syrupmakers.
Littleton, who spent the past eight years as Cairo’s defensive coordinator before making the move to Bainbridge, says his approach entering is pretty simple.
“We just want to win two of the three areas of the game—offense, defense, and special teams. If we can win two of the three, we’ll be okay,” said Littleton.
In addition to Littleton, the Bearcats’ have three other coaches who were on Cairo’s staff last year. Defensive coordinator Brian Hill, offensive line coach Jason Whitaker, and defensive ends coach Blake Cecil all made the move to Bainbridge from Cairo to coach with Littleton.