Bearcats defeat Northside for homecoming

Published 10:19 am Monday, October 28, 2013

The Bearcats continued their momentum from last week with a Homecoming win at Centennial Field Friday night, defeating the 1-7 Northside Patriots 28-7. Bainbridge, now 4-4 this season, has officially clenched a 1AAAAA playoff spot.

Senior quarterback Preston Norris was 10 for 13 passing, throwing for 125 yards and connecting with his receivers to make big plays.

“They were getting open for me and I just had a good time hitting them,” Norris said, who has been focusing on controlling the team and showing up as a leader.

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Wide receiver Greg Cooper and Shawon Gardner both had touchdowns, getting open and creating lanes for Norris to connect.

“We controlled the line of scrimmage,” head coach Jeff Littleton said. “We were able to control the football and that opened up some throwing lanes. Preston put it on the spot.”

On the ground, running back Aaron Calloway rushed for 202 yards on 27 carries, the best he’s had this season. The offensive line was able to block and give Calloway room to move the football.

“We went out there and we executed,” Calloway said. “Those boys were playing dirty. We had to play against the team and the referees, so we said, ‘Let’s turn it up on them.’ We did our thing.”

The referees made it difficult for the Bearcats, calling back two crucial touchdown runs and throwing controversial flags on the players.

Bainbridge scored on its opening drive, putting the score at 7-0. After a quick four-and-out for Northside, the Bearcats immediately hit back again. Calloway took the ball 47-yards to the red zone, and then Norris found Cooper in the end zone to raise the score 14-0.

The Bearcats defense held off the Patriots for another drive. Then they followed up with another series resulting in a touchdown.

Northside responded and was able to score on their next drive, putting the score at 21-14 right before the half.

The second half saw the Bainbridge defense attack Northside hard, starting with a blocked field goal picked up for a touchdown. A holding call brought the ball back to the 45-yard line, but the play set both the team and the crowd on fire.

Senior cornerback Tavarius Bowens intercepted two passes in the second half, both when Northside was beginning to gain steam.

“I just had a good game tonight,” Bowens said. “Me and my teammates came out and played hard. But we’ve got to get up and go play better.”

Norris’ pass to Cooper late in the fourth quarter put the final score at 28-7.

Next week, Bainbridge travels to Dothan for a Thursday night game. Littleton said he’s ready to keep the team working hard, despite making playoffs.

“We’re glad to make the playoffs, but we’re not satisfied with what we’ve got,” Littleton said. “We’ve got one more region game. We could possibly finish in a better spot.”