Jackets edge Cats for championship

Published 2:34 pm Friday, October 29, 2010

BAINBRIDGE MIDDLE SCHOOL seventh grade Bearcats coaches instruct players during Wednesday’s area championship game against the Thomas County Central Middle School. Coach Chip Ariail is coming off the field after instructing the defense and coach Heith Maxwell is standing with Bearcats quarterback Tyree Crump. Other coaches, from left, are coach Scott Miller and 7th grade football coordinator David Kirkland.|Joe Crine

The Bainbridge Middle School seventh grade Bearcats ended their outstanding 2010 football season with an 8-0 loss to the Thomas County Central Middle School 7th grade Yellow Jackets.

The loss, at Central’s Jackets’ Nest Stadium, came in the championship game of the Southwest Georgia Seventh Grade Football League.

Yellow Jackets quarterback Adrian Brown ran five yards for a touchdown with 4:58 left in the second quarter. Running back Jeff Smith ran in for the two-point conversion giving the Yellow Jackets their 8-0 lead early.

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The Bearcats moved the ball offensively behind the running of quarterback Tyree Crump and running backs Elijah Taylor and Rodney Register.

The teams, who entered Wednesday’s championship game with identical 5-1 records, split their two regular season games.

The Yellow Jackets downed the Bearcats 8-0 in their Wednesday, Sept. 1 season opener at Jackets’ Nest Stadium, while the Bearcats downed the Yellow Jackets 14-12 Wednesday, Oct. 13 at Centennial Field.

The home field for Wednesday’s 7th grade championship game was determined by a coin flip.

After the game, 7th grade football coordinator David Kirkland gathered his team around him and emotionally told them how proud he was of them.

“Before the game, I told you how proud I was of each of you for the outstanding season we have had and that hasn’t changed,” Kirkland said. “I know it hurts right now and it should, but I also know that you gave it your all out there today.

“You need to keep that hurt in your gut and pull it out again next year and let it loose on the field as eighth graders. Work hard in the weight room and stay focused on your future.”