Bearcats beat Early County, 14-12

Published 10:56 pm Friday, September 14, 2012

DIVING IN FOR THE SCORE: Bainbridge running back Damian Bouie, who was lined up at quarterback, keeps the ball on a sneak and runs 5 yards for a touchdown to put the Bearcats ahead, 14-6, at Early County on Friday. The Bobcats scored late in the game but missed a two-point conversion, as Bainbridge held on for a 14-12 victory.|Jeff Findley

Sports Editor and News Writer

BLAKELY, Ga. — The Bainbridge Bearcats survived a late scare on the road Friday night, defeating the Early County Bobcats by a score of 14-12.

Early County scored with 31.6 seconds left in the game, and elected to go for two, but the Bearcats’ defense held and kept the score at 14-12. The Bobcats tried to kick an onside kick, but the Bearcats recovered and were able to run out the clock the rest of the way.

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Bainbridge (2-1) fumbled the opening kickoff return and Early County recovered. The Bobcats turned the ball over on downs; the Bearcats drove forward to the Early County 34-yard-line, before the drive stalled.

Then, with five minutes left in the first quarter, Early County’s Martavius Allen caught a 79-yard pass from quarterback Jacori Taylor. The extra point attempt was wide left, leaving the score 6-0 at the end of the first quarter.

Bainbridge’s Cameron McDowell intercepted an Early County pass at the Bainbridge 22-yard-line, with 10:49 left in the second. A pass interference penalty on the Bobcats moved the ball to the Bainbridge 37, but the Bearcats were forced to punt.

With 3:26 left in the second quarter, Bainbridge running back Terry Lewis ran 37 yards for a touchdown, to cap a five-play, 53-yard drive. Lewis also had a 6-yard run for a first down in the drive. Daniel Provence’s extra-point kick was good, putting Bainbridge ahead for the first time, 7-6.

The Bearcats got the ball back with about two minutes left in the first half. With 38.9 seconds left, the Bearcats moved from their 48 to the Early County 33 after a pass interference call. Greg Cooper caught a 28-yard pass from junior quarterback Preston Norris, taking the ball to the Early County 5.

Bouie came in at quarterback on the next play and kept the ball himself, running in 5 yards for a touchdown with 26.9 seconds left in the first half. The drive was five plays for 61 yards. Bainbridge continued to hold a 14-6 lead at halftime.

The Bearcats went for it on a fourth-and-1 from their own 26, with 5:03 remaining in the third quarter, as Lewis picked up a first down on a 7-yard-run. Bouie, at the quarterback position, had runs of 6 yards and 4 yards in the drive.

Lewis had back-to-back rushes of 8 yards and 3 yards. Michael Stubbs added a rush of 6 yards. A holding call canceled out a long run by Stubbs, and after an incomplete pass from Norris to Bouie, the Bearcats were forced to punt with 1:44 left in the third quarter.

After three quarters, the score remained 14-6.

After a chop-block penalty and a Norris fumble, which was recovered by the Bearcats, Bainbridge’s Paul Soden had to punt on a fourth-and-40 on the Bainbridge 13, giving the Bobcats the ball at their own 49 in the fourth quarter.

On the ensuing drive, Early County’s Ladonis Bryant caught a 32-yard-pass to take the ball to the Bainbridge 7. After being knocked back to the 15, Taylor rushed to the Bainbridge 3.

On a fourth-and-goal from the Bainbridge 2, with 5:03 left in the game, the Bobcats pitched to their halfback, Bryant, who then threw an incomplete pass to Allen in the endzone.

The Bearcats took over deep in their own territory with 4:50 remaining, but were forced to punt. The Bobcats took over at their own 42. On a fourth down, Taylor ran for a first down. On the next play, Taylor threw a 12-yard pass to Laron Randall, who took it to the Bainbridge 30 with 1:19 left. Bryant caught a 16-yard pass to the 14.

Bainbridge’s Tevin McKay and Javen Sanders sacked Taylor on the next play — Sanders was injured on the play but was able to walk off with assistance.

Taylor threw an incomplete pass into the end zone on second down. On third-and-12, Taylor looked to pass but ultimately ran 14 yards into the end zone for a touchdown with 31.6 seconds left. The drive was nine plays and covered 58 yards.

Because Early County had missed their previous extra point attempt, the Bobcats chose to try a two-point conversion. Taylor pitched out to Bryant, who was stopped short of the goal line, leaving the score at 14-12 in Bainbridge’s favor.

The Bobcats tried an onside kick, but Bainbridge’s Bouie fell on the ball. With neither team having a timeout remaining, Bainbridge took a knee on first down to let the play clock elapse.

Bainbridge returns home Friday, Sept. 21, as the Bearcats take on Westlake, at 7:30 p.m., at Centennial Field.

• Kicker Paul Soden had a 48-yard punt in the first quarter. Soden’s next punt in the second quarter, which had a roll favoring the Bearcats, was 53 yards. Soden’s third punt was 38 yards with no return.

• Damian Bouie, who normally plays running back, played two series at quarterback late in the second quarter. Running back Michael Stubbs came in to join Lewis in the backfield, while Bouie took snaps.