Bearcats lose closely to Harris County

Published 1:00 am Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Bainbridge Bearcats fought until the very last play Friday night against the Harris County Tigers, ultimately coming just short in a heartbreaking 31-30 loss at Centennial Field.

Quarterback Preston Norris consistently found his receivers, going 9/14 and putting 108 pass yards under his belt. Wide receivers Tavarius Bowens and Shuwon Gardner were able to break away from Harris County’s defenders and make plays when they were needed.

“I just came out and played my heart out,” Norris said. “We needed this big win, but unfortunately that didn’t happen.”

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Norris pulled off two quarterback-sneak touchdowns for the Bearcats and ran for 52 yards.

Running back Aaron Calloway had a breakout night, rushing for 121 yards and two touchdowns, constantly pounding through the line to gain first down after first down. Despite the loss, Calloway and the offensive line were able to keep the momentum high for the Bearcats.

“The line was blocking really good tonight, everybody was pulling for the team and we just did good,” Calloway said. “It was just focus. Go to bed at night, run the plays and practice. Do that every day and we’ll make it.”

The Bearcats special teams blocked a punt and earned the team a safety early in the first quarter. The following drive saw Norris leading the team down the field and sliding into the end zone to put the score at 9-0.

Harris County matched Bainbridge with a touchdown and a safety, ending the first quarter tied 9-9.

Both teams fired shots at each other through the second quarter and went into the locker rooms tied 16-16 at halftime.

The Bearcats erupted in their first drive the second half with Craig Cooper running a 50 yard kickoff return and leaving the rest to Greg Cooper, Bowens and Calloway, who punched another one in the end zone to raise the score 23-16.

Harris County scored quickly on their next drive. But Calloway was able to pull his team out of a tough 2nd down and 15 to score and put another seven points on the board. A successful onside kick recovered by William Scurry gave the Bearcats hopes to secure the lead with a field goal, but Daniel Provence missed the kick on fourth down and gave Harris County the ball on the 15-yard line.

The defense pulled off a couple key three-and-outs throughout the game that kept the momentum alive, but ultimately couldn’t stop Harris County on their final drive as they scored a touchdown and a 2-point conversion.

“We executed what we’ve been practicing all year, we didn’t run anything different,” Head Coach Jeff Littleton said. “We’re coming together as a team on offense and defense. We did not execute at times on both sides of the ball and ended up shooting ourselves in the foot. That’s what cost us.”