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Bearcats host Trojans Friday

Coach Ed Pilcher’s 2009 Bainbridge High School Bearcats will host the Dougherty High School Trojans from Albany Friday at 7:30 p.m. in a preseason football scrimmage at Centennial Field.

Admission is $5 for students and adults.

The Bearcats will open their regular season Saturday, Aug. 22, against the Cairo High School Syrupmakers at Cairo’s West Thomas Stadium.

Friday night’s preseason game will give the Bearcats and Trojans an opportunity to evaluate their offenses and defenses before getting into Region 1AAAA play.

Junior Rohan Gaines returns to run the Bearcats split-back veer offense for a second consecutive season. Last season, he was second on the team in rushing with 104 carries for 447 yards and six touchdowns. He averaged 4.3 yards a carry.

He also completed 32 of 60 passes for 418 yards and two touchdowns.

Senior running back Thomas Smiley, the Bearcats leading rusher a year ago with 103 carries for 575 yards and six touchdowns, also returns.

The offensive line is anchored by senior center Jackson Kendrick, who was also the starting center a year ago.

Defensively, the Bearcats return strong safety Jonathan Warren, the fourth leading tackler on the team in 2008 with 39. Leading the special teams will be junior Keenan Adams, who will handle place kicking and punting duties.

In 2008 Adams was a perfect 31 for 31 on extra point attempts and eight for 11 on field goal attempts.

On special teams, the Bearcats return Shawn Samuels, who was second on the team in kickoff returns in 2008 with six for 61 yards and a 10.2 yards per return average. He had a long return of 61 yards.

Samuels, one of the fastest players on the team, could also see some duty at wide receiver and in the defensive secondary.

The Bearcats home opener will be Friday, Aug. 28, against the Early County High School Bobcats at 7:30 p.m. at Centennial Field.