Cats fall at Harris County, 21-17

Published 10:44 pm Friday, October 12, 2012

BREAKING A TACKLE: Bainbridge quarterback Damian Bouie tries to pull away from a Harris County defender, in the Tigers’ 21-17 win over the visiting Bearcats on Friday night.|Jeff Findley

HAMILTON, Ga. — The Bainbridge High School Bearcats were unlucky for a second week in a row, losing a fourth-quarter lead and falling to the Harris County Tigers, 21-17, Friday night, in Hamilton, Ga.

The Bearcats (3-3, 0-2 in Region 1-AAAAA) led 17-14 at the start of the fourth quarter, but Harris County took the lead in the fourth, when Esaias Chapman scored a 20-yard touchdown with 4:24 left in the game. The Tigers’ winning score was set up by a Bainbridge fumble.

Both teams scored on their first possession of the game.

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The Tigers struck first, returning the opening kickoff to midfield. A few plays later, Harris County quarterback Justin Wright ran 9 yards for a touchdown with 10:06 left in the first quarter.

Bainbridge quarterback Damian Bouie ran the ensuing kickoff to the Bainbridge 45-yard-line. The Bearcats capped their opening drive when Bouie kept the ball himself and ran into the end zone. Daniel Provence’s extra-point kick was good, tying the game.

Provence kicked a 23-yard field goal with 5:56 left in the first half, to make the score 10-7.

On Harris County’s next drive, on a fourth-and-1 from the Bainbridge 42, encroachment was called on the Bearcats, giving the Tigers a first down. But on the next play, unsportsmanlike conduct was called on a Tigers player, moving the ball back 15 yards to Harris County’s 42.

On an eventual fourth down from the Bainbridge 42, the Tigers faked a punt, but the Bearcats’ defense stopped the rusher to turn the ball over on downs.

On Bainbridge’s first down, with about two minutes left in the half, Bouie kept the ball and ran 23 yards to the Harris County 30.

Later in the drive, from the Harris County 37, Bainbridge quarterback Preston Norris connected with Greg Cooper for a 13-yard pass. With 1:21 left in the second quarter, Provence attempted a 46-yard field goal, but the ball hooked left.

Cameron McDowell returned the second half kickoff to the Bainbridge 29. Bouie ran 4 yards to the 33 and then for 5 more to the 38. Then, with 10:20 left in the third quarter, Bainbridge running back Michael Stubbs ran 62 yards for a touchdown to culminate a three-play, 71-yard drive and make the score 17-7.

With 5:46 left in the third, Brandon Culverson caught a 41-yard pass from Wright for a touchdown, cutting Bainbridge’s lead to 17-14.

With just under six minutes left in the game, Harris County was forced to punt from its own 43, after Bainbridge’s B.J. Cheatem narrowly missed an interception.

Bainbridge’s Cameron McDowell fielded the punt around the Bainbridge 22, and fumbled the ball while he tried to scramble, with the Tigers taking over at the Bainbridge 24. A couple of plays later, Chapman ran in 20 yards for a touchdown to make the score 21-17.

Bainbridge got the ball at its own 33 and drove forward, but Harris County’s DiQuan Roberts intercepted a long Norris pass at the Harris County 21 with 2:13 remaining. The Tigers were then able to run out the clock.

Bainbridge running back Terry Lewis saw limited snaps in the game, although it wasn’t immediately clear why he sat out until the fourth quarter.