Bearcats fall short in Cairo

Published 11:19 pm Friday, September 6, 2013

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The Bainbridge High School Bearcats came up two yards short in a heartbreaking 6-0 slugfest at Cairo’s West Thomas Stadium on Friday night.

With six minutes and 21 seconds left in the game, Cairo missed a 45-yard field goal that would have mostly put the game out of reach.

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After taking over on the 20-yard line, the Bearcats put together a sustained drive, highlighted by a 51-yard run by Senior Greg Cooper on a reverse. After three shorts runs by Aaron Calloway, Bainbridge faced fourth down and five from the Cairo 11-yard line. An incomplete pass on fourth down turned the ball over to Cairo with 2:44 left in the game.

But, Bainbridge recovered a Cairo fumble on the very next play and took over first and goal, down 6-0, with 2:34 left in the game. After three runs by Calloway, the Bearcats faced fourth and goal at the Cairo three-yard line with 1:00 left in regulation. A fourth Bearcat rush came up short on fourth down and Cairo took over on downs. As BHS had no timeouts left, the Syrupmakers ran out the clock.

“Our players will never quit and the coaches will never quit,” said Bainbridge Head Coach Jeff Littleton. “That is one of the values we hang our hat on. This will make us stronger, we are going hold our heads high, move on and get better because of playing this game.”

Most of the first half was a tale of trading possessions for both teams, who were stymied by each other’s defenses.

The game’s only score came with 5:53 left in the second quarter on a one-yard run by Cairo’s Jeremiah Hill. The point after attempt was no good.

Earlier in the second quarter, the Bearcats made a goal line defensive stand, with lineman Malik Tate making a crucial backfield tackle of a Cairo running back on a 4th down at the BHS 2.

The Bearcat defense only allowed 192 yards of total offense for the game and stopped several Syrupmaker drives with key plays on third and fourth downs. Craig Cooper had an interception which he returned for 29 yards.

Bainbridge had a tough time putting together sustained drives on the stingy Cairo defense and had just 152 total yards for the game. Calloway had 65 yards rushing on 18 carries, while Cedrick Jones had two catches for 26 yards.

With the loss, the Bearcats’ season record is now 1-1. The Bearcats return to Centennial Field next Friday night to host the Early County Bobcats. Kickoff is set for 8:00 p.m.