Syrupmakers hold on for close win over Bearcats

Published 11:48 pm Friday, September 5, 2014

Even though all the scoring took place in the first half during the Bearcats game against the Syrupmakers Friday, the second half showed the most amount of fight in both teams.

Still, the Bearcats weren’t able to score a final touchdown to catch up with Cairo, who walked off Centennial Field with a 13-7 victory.

The win improves the Syrupmaker’s record to 2-0, while the Bearcats now sit 1-1.

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According to Bearcats head coach Jeff Littleton, the loss stemmed from more than just the night’s final touchdown drive, where the Bearcats had three incomplete passes in a row on their own 33 yard line.

“We didn’t make the plays,” Littleton said. “It wasn’t that second touchdown, it was everything that happened before. We made mental mistakes. We made mental mistakes with the players and the coaches.”

Junior quarterback Elijah Tyler started the night, going 4-of-6 passing and having 62 passing yards.

In the meantime, the Syrupmakers had kicked two field goals, one in each of the first two quarters. The Bearcats, on the other hand, weren’t able to muster a score.

Halfway through the second quarter, Tyler was taken out for a small injury and replaced by sophomore Brett McLaughin, who ran the offense for the rest of the game

Shortly after coming in, miscommunication on a reverse play caused the Bearcats to fumble on their own 19-yard line. The Syrupmakers recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown, advancing the score to 13-0.

Two series later, Bainbridge was able to put together a drive that marched them from their own 40-yard line to the Syrupmaker’s end zone. While on the 2-yard line, McLaughin threw a pass to wide receiver Tyler Story in the back-left corner of the end zone for a touchdown, raising the score to 13-7.

It was the final score of the night.

“Elijah got a little banged up early in the game, but Brett stepped right in there and stood up to run the offense well,” Littleton said. “We just have to come together as a football team and be able to pick each other up when somebody goes down.”

Linebacker and running back Dameon Pierce, who finished the night with 54 yards rushing, said it was his lack of experience that got the best of him.

“Hopefully next year I’ll be making more plays for my team,” he said. “But right now I’m still getting a feel for it.”

The Bearcats return to action next Friday against Monroe (Albany) at home. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.