Bearcats top Westlake, 38-14

Published 8:43 am Saturday, September 22, 2012

TAKING IT AWAY: Bainbridge senior linebacker B.J. Cheatem dives to make an interception early in the second quarter of the Bearcats’ 38-14 win over Westlake on Friday. The Bearcats’ defense intercepted four passes during the night, including three in a 28-point third quarter.|Brennan Leathers

Bainbridge scored 28 points in the third quarter to blow open a close game, eventually defeating Westlake, 38-14, on Friday night at Centennial Field.

The Bearcats (3-1) only led 10-7 at halftime, but then took only three plays to score on their opening drive. Later in the third quarter, the Bearcats intercepted Westlake quarterback Renard Battle on three straight possessions — each time, Bainbridge converted those turnovers into points.

“We made a few good adjustments on both offense and defense at halftime,” Bainbridge coach Ed Pilcher said. “We were able to create some turnovers and those set us up in good field position.”

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Bainbridge attempted just one pass in the game, but the Bearcats didn’t need to go to the air with an offense that collected 323 rushing yards. Senior running back Terry Lewis had 16 carries for 182 yards and two touchdowns, and senior quarterback Damian Bouie had five carries for 62 yards, but three of those carries were touchdown runs.

“Damian did a really good job of playing quarterback for us,” Pilcher said. “Right now, we’re just going to keep working on what we do well.”

Westlake (0-5) broke onto the scoreboard first, using a 22-play, 94-yard drive that used the first 10 minutes, 35 seconds of the first quarter. On fourth-and-goal from the Bainbridge 3, Battle connected with Daylan Rollins for a touchdown, and DeAndre Mathis added the extra point.

On the ensuing drive, Bainbridge drove from its own 35-yard-line to the Westlake 23, but fumbled the ball on the 25. Two plays later, Bainbridge’s B.J. Cheatem got the ball back for the Bearcats by intercepting a pass at the Westlake 22.

“That was a big play for us,” Pilcher said. “We could have really lost momentum if we’d given Westlake the ball back and they’d scored.”

Instead, Bainbridge scored two plays later when Lewis broke away for a 9-yard run. Daniel Provence added the extra point to tie the game with 10:12 left in the second quarter. Provence added a 29-yard field goal with 24.3 seconds left in the first half to put Bainbridge ahead, 10-7.

On the opening second-half kickoff, Bainbridge’s Victor Bodison returned the kick from the Westlake 15 to midfield. Three plays later, Bouie scored on a 29-yard run to the left side. Provence added the extra point to increase the Bearcats’ lead to 17-7 with 10:25 left in the third.

On the Lions’ very first play of the second half, Bainbridge’s Dontavious Baulkman intercepted a pass and returned it from the Westlake 35 to the Westlake 23. Two plays later, Bouie scored on a 16-yard run.

Westlake drove the length of the field on its following drive, but Bainbridge’s Cameron McDowell intercepted a pass in the end zone, giving the Bearcats a touchback. Lewis made the Lions pay for their turnover, breaking through the defense and running 80 yards for the score with 4:57 left in the third quarter.

“It felt good to break away for a long run,” Lewis said. “We want to keep working hard in practice and get ready for our region games.”

Bouie closed out Bainbridge’s scoring late in the third quarter, shortly after Devon Hubbard intercepted Battle and returned it 30 yards to the Westlake 15. Bouie’s 6-yard run and Provence’s extra point made the score 38-7 with 1:00 remaining in the third.

“The offensive line did a great job of blocking,” Bouie said. “They did their part, so we [Lewis and I] had to do our part.”

Westlake scored its final touchdown with 3:29 in the fourth quarter.

Bainbridge is off next Friday, before opening its Region 1-AAAAA schedule against rival Thomas County Central. The Bearcats travel to face the Jackets on Friday, Oct. 5, at 8 p.m.