One of those games

Published 6:56 pm Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Saturday night’s football season opener between the Bainbridge High School Bearcats and Early County High School Bobcats was one of those games that could have gone either way right up until the end.

Senior linebacker Brandon Linzy’s 35-yard interception return for a touchdown with just 7 seconds left in the game broke a 7-7 tie and, coupled with senior Keenan Adams extra point kick, gave the Bearcats a thrilling 14-7 victory.

Junior quarterback Steven Bench gave the Bearcats a 6-0 lead when he ran up the middle for 23 yards and a touchdown with 3:09 left in the third quarter. Bench led the Bearcats in rushing with 18 carries for 74 yards and a 4.1 yards per carry average.

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The Bobcats tied it 7-7 on a three-yard Quayven Lavette touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter and an extra point kick by Ricardo Castro, who came up limping on the play and was unable to return.

The Bearcats defense came up big, forcing four Bobcats fumbles and recovering one.

BHS’ defensive secondary was particularly impressive. With senior cornerback Shawn Samuels and senior safety Rohan Gaines leading the way, the Bearcats held the Bobcats to just 23 yards passing.

All night the Bobcats smartly kicked the ball away from Samuels, a first team All-Region 1-AAAA cornerback and kick returner a year ago.

The Bobcats had their own share of key defensive plays to keep the game close Friday night.

Senior linebacker J.J. McCray and senior defensive back Lavette and sophomore linebacker Brakari Isom all had key fumble recoveries for the Bobcats.

In talking with BHS Head Coach Ed Pilcher during preseason camp, he emphasized to me that the Bearcats running game would be by committee this season.

That was definitely the case Friday night, and for the most part, it seemed to work well.

Bench was followed by sophomore Damian Bouie with 13 carries for 58 yards and a 4.5 yards per carry average, sophomore B.J. Cheatem with nine carries for 24 yards and a 2.7 yards per carry average, sophomore Aaron Hall with four carries for 16 yards and a 4 yards per carry average and senior Jamario Brown with one carry for three yards and a first down.

The entire Bearcats defensive unit played outstanding Friday night.

Linzy and senior linebacker Jared Price both had sacks of the Bobcats’ quarterback. Senior defensice tackle Qwatavius Middleton and junior defensive tackle Shamai Wilburn teamed up for a sack to hold Early County’s offense late in the fourth quarter.

The special teams players also did well when it counted. After Linzy put BHS ahead 14-7, Adams booted a bouncing kick designed to run out the clock. Two Bearcats sprinted downfield and put a big hit on the Bobcat returner before he could move forward a yard, preserving the win.