Pilcher on TCC win

Published 12:12 pm Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bainbridge head football coach Ed Pilcher liked his team’s effort on both sides of the ball Friday night, during the Bearcats’ 27-24 regular-season-ending overtime victory over Thomas County Central at Centennial Field.

The victory earned the Bearcats the third seed in Region 1-AAAA and a first-round State Class AAAA playoff berth against Ware County, the second seed in Region 2-AAAA. That game will be played Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Waycross, Ga.

Central, the fourth seed in Region 1-AAAA, will travel to Statesboro, the top seed in Region 2-AAAA.

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Bainbridge’s winning touchdown came on a 14-yard third-down pass from quarterback Quincy Fortson to wide receiver Rodney Glenn who out jumped the Central defender to pull down the ball in the left corner of the end zone.

“Quincy did a great job of laying the ball up and Rodney did a great job of going up and getting it,” Pilcher said.

“I told Quincy after the game that I thought he played his best game of the year. If we had not scored the touchdown on third down, we would have tried to kick the tying field goal and gone to a second overtime.”

The Bearcats won the coin toss and elected to start on the overtime on defense. Both teams got the ball on the opponent’s 15-yard-line to begin their overtime possession.

Central’s Gavin Wilson kicked a 29-yard field goal in the Yellow Jackets’ overtime possession to go ahead 24-21.

“I am proud of the way we played Friday night and the way we have played all season,” said Pilcher, whose team finished the regular season 8-2 overall and 5-2 in Region 1-AAAA. “We were one play — a late fourth-quarter touchdown pass by Warner Robins to pull out a 14-10 victory — away from being 9-1 overall.

“The kids have really come together and played well. They have been like a family and pulled for each other all year.”

“Our Touchdown Club has always been very supportive,” Pilcher said. “I hope a lot of fans will make the trip to Waycross Friday night for our first round State Class AAAA playoff game against the Ware County Gators.”

Pilcher said one of the Bearcats’ biggest plays Friday night wasn’t even a scoring play.

“I thought a big play in the game came in the fourth quarter when we were backed up on our own 12 yard line,” he said. “Quincy Fortson completed a 47 yard pass to wide receiver Greg Cooper to the Central 41-yard-line. That really got us out of a field position hole.”

Pilcher, who was head coach at Central for 17 years and won five state championships there, embraced Central coach Bill Shaver with a hug at midfield, after the teams’ overtime coin toss.

“Central head coach Bill Shaver and I coached together and have a lot of respect for each other,” Pilcher said. “I also coached with several of the other Central coaches. We were just showing our mutual respect.”