Coach: Bearcats made big plays in clutch
It wasn’t pretty, but the Bainbridge High School varsity football team got the job done against East Gadsden High School of Havana, Fla., last Friday night.
A 51-yard throw from BHS quarterback Preston Norris to Victor Bodison set up a 26-yard field goal by Daniel Provence late in the third quarter.
Provence’s field goal turned out to be the winning difference for the Bearcats, as they made a four-play, goal line stand against the Jaguars late in the fourth quarter. Starting with a first down at the BHS 5-yard-line, the Jaguars ran a trap, a toss sweep, a halfback dive and finally, a toss sweep to the right, only to be stopped every time by Bearcat defenders.
“We made the big plays when we needed to,” Head Coach Jeff Littleton said Tuesday, looking back on the game. “Calvin Isom and Elsamar Williams had some good defensive stops late in the game when it counted.”
But otherwise, neither team had much going on offensively, with both teams struggling to break 100 yards of total offense. Part of that could have been because of the weather—a heavy downpour brought more than an inch of rain to Bainbridge about two hours before kickoff.
Both teams had blocked or muffed punts that were presumedly caused by having to snap a slippery football. The teams also had six fumbles between them.
Coach Littleton refused to blame anything on the weather. Although the Bearcats’ offensive stats were meager, he said Tuesday he thought his team had several good drives they unfortunately weren’t able to capitalize on. However, he said that his players would work on protecting the football better and in hopes of limiting turnovers.
East Gadsden defenders got to Norris in the BHS backfield on several occasions—Coach Littleton said that was due to having two starters on the offensive line out due to injury.
“Defensively, we are playing a lot better, though we still have some work to do up front on both sides of the ball,” the head coach said. “Dalin Mack and Tremaine McCray played well at linebacker and our defensive tackles also had a good game.”
Coach Littleton said he and his coaches are approaching the Bearcats’ rivalry game against Cairo on September 6 the same way they would any other game. BHS coaching staff will likely be in attendance when Cairo hosts Thomasville this Friday night.
In the meantime, Bearcats practices will be focused on “getting better at what we do fundamentally,” as well as special teams, Littleton said.
Bainbridge East Gadsden
First Downs 5 8
Rushes-Yards 35-20 36-93
Passing Yards 92 32
Passes 4-13, 1 INT 3-13, 1 INT
Total Yards 112 125
Fumbles (Lost) 2 (1) 4 (2)
Penalties-Yards 6-43 4-25
Punts (Avg.) 4 (28.3) 5 (21.0)
3rd Down Conversions 2-12 (17 %) 1-11 (9%)
4th Down Conversions 0-5 0-3
Quarterback Sacks 0-0 3 (-6 yards)
Plays-Possessions 48-19 (40%) 49-19 (39%)
Rushing – Individuals
BHS #5 – Aaron Calloway – 7 carries for 20 yards, long run of 16 yards
East Gadsden #34 – Dekendrik Thomas – 8 carries for 45 yards, long run of 14 yards
East Gadsden #22 – La’Javier Turner – 9 carries for 33 yards. long run of 28 yards
Punting / Kicking
BHS #89 – Daniel Provence – 4 punts for 113 yards; Long punt of 40 yards, average of 28.3 yards; 1 blocked punt. Provence’s 26-yard field goal was the only scoring in the game.
Passing – Individual
BHS # 17 – Preston Norris – 4-13 for 92 yards and one interception.
East Gadsden # 10 – Al Peterson – 2-8 for 28 yards.
East Gadsden # 5 – Qwantez Jackson – 1-5 for 5 yards and one interception.
Receiving – Individual
BHS #3 – Cedrick Jones – Two receptions for 23 yards and a long catch of 14 yards.
BHS #18 – Victor Bodison – One catch for 51 yards.
BHS #1 – Greg Cooper – One catch for nine yards.
East Gadsden #3 – Kendre James – One for 20 yards.
East Gadsden #2 – Jalcell Reynolds – One catch for eight yards.
East Gadsden #22 – La’Javier Turner – One catch for four yards.
Tavarius Bowens and Dalin Mack both had fumble recoveries for the Bearcats. Cedrick Jones had an interception for BHS.