Bearcats take down Early Co. 12-6 in season opener

Published 12:44 am Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Bearcats and the Bobcats went back and forth Friday night, recovering each other’s fumbles and forcing punts, but Bainbridge returned home with a 12-6 win to open the 2014 season.

A blocked punt caught by sophomore Lerone Broadnax with less than three minutes left in the game put the Bearcats in scoring position to take the lead. Quarterback Elijah Tyler ran the ball for 12 yards and punched it in the end zone.

“We played hard,” Bainbridge head coach Jeff Littleton said. “We got a few injuries, and when you have an injury someone has to step up, and someone has an opportunity to step in and make some plays. We had a few of those tonight.”

Tyler didn’t play for the first half and sophomore backup Brett McLaughin stepped in to fill the role for his first varsity start.

“It was exciting,” McLaughin said. “All the work during practice went out on the field.”

McLaughin was 3-for-5 passing, throwing for 30 yards.

“Brett stepped right in there and ran the offense and he played,” Littleton said.

The Bearcats first touchdown came on a kickoff return with 6:06 left in the first half. Early County had just scored a touchdown and senior Victor Bodison returned the kick 85-yards for the score.

“I had to make a play,” Bodison said. “I knew they had scored and I dropped a little fumble, but (my team) blocked right and I just kept running.”

The Bearcats turned the ball over in crucial moments throughout the game, but the Bainbridge defense was able to step up and stop the Bobcats from taking advantage of scoring positions.

“Defensively we did what we were supposed to do fundamentally up front, and that’s what opened up (the linebackers) to make plays,” Littleton said.

The defensive line clogged up the trenches well and gave the Bainbridge linebackers a chance to sweep in and wreak havoc in the backfield.

“My size and my technique (helped me),” freshman linebacker Dameon Pierce said, who provided a number of tackles for the Bearcats. “They did exactly what coach told me they were going to do. I was staying after practice, watching film every day in and out and I had a good game.”

The Bearcats return home next Friday for a game against rival Cairo.