Trojans edge Bearcats, 28-27

Published 11:54 pm Friday, October 29, 2010

The Bainbridge Bearcats lost another close decision, falling 28-27 to the Lee County Trojans on Homecoming night at Centennial Field.

After striking out to a 14-0 halftime lead, the Bearcats were unable to stop a strong passing attack by the Trojans, who quickly scored 21 unanswered points.

In the end, it came down to the Bearcats’ decision to go for a two-point conversion in an attempt to win the game after a miraculous late-game touchdown. BHS quarterback Steven Bench threw a pass to tight end Timothy McConnell but the ball fell to the grass, leaving the Bearcats one point short of their opponent.

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BHS was first to score, with linebacker/fullback Jamario Brown rushing from the 7 to the 3 and then again for a touchdown with 6:35 left in the second quarter.

Late in the second quarter, a pass ruled incomplete and a five-yard offsides penalty made Bainbridge face a 4th down and 17. Bench—who does double duty as the Bearcats’ punter—then executed a fake punt play, throwing the ball to Shawn Samuels for a 39-yard touchdown with 3:37 left in the first, putting the Cats up 14-0.

The Trojans got on the board with 4:50 left in the third, when quarterback Justin Walker ran in 10 yards for a touchdown. Running back Denzel Eckles ran in for a two-point conversion, making the score 14-8.

The Trojans took the lead when Walker completed a 15-yard touchdown pass to James Terrell with 10:16 left in the fourth quarter. Mike Bacon’s extra point kick put the Trojans up 15-14.

On the Bearcats’ first play after the ensuing kickoff, the ball was fumbled and the Trojans recovered. On the next play, Walker threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Terrell with 10:01 left. The two-point conversion try was no good.

The Bearcats’ next drive appeared to be stalled at midfield when the Trojans sacked Bench at the Lee County 46. Bench was knocked down during his punt attempt, resulting in an automatic first down for BHS. A 21-yard reception and a seven-yard run by Damian Bouie took the ball to the Trojans’ 3. Then BHS’ Brown, who had fumbled a would-be touchdown in the third quarter, rumbled forward for a touchdown with 4:33 left in the game. Daniel Provence’s extra point kick tied the score at 21-21.

Facing a 2nd down and 28 yards to go on their next drive, the Trojans kept their drive alive with a long pass to Eckles, who ended up running in for a nine-yard touchdown with 1:18 left in the game.

With Lee County leading 28-21, BHS’ B.J. Cheatem returned the ball to midfield. Then on the next play, Bench threw a long pass to Quincy Fortson, who scored a 51-yard touchdown with 1:04 left.

After failing at the two-point conversion, the Bearcats were forced to try an onside kick, but it was recovered by the Trojans to seal their victory.

The Bearcats’ last four region games, all losses, were decided by a total of 12 points. The Bearcats’ record is now 3-6 overall and 1-5 in Region 1-AAAA.

BHS’ last game of the season is next Friday, when they will travel to Thomasville to play region rival, the Thomas County Central Yellowjackets.