Bearcats score 41 points in second half to take down Panthers at home

Published 11:41 pm Friday, October 3, 2014


Freshman defensive back Dameon Pierce tackles Americus-Sumter quarterback Mekall Yancie during Friday’s game against the Panthers. — William Hand


Bainbridge may have entered the locker room at halftime Friday tied 14-14 with Americus-Sumter, but an explosive second half sent the Bearcats soaring to a 55-28 victory at Centennial Field.

The win improves the Bearcats record to 4-2.

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Freshman running back Dameon Pierce rushed for 139 yards on six carries and scored two back-to-back touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

“I got a groove going,” Pierce said. “I kept hitting the holes and running hard. Everything coach said would be there was there, the holes, lanes. I just hit down and accelerated.”

Bainbridge put the first points on the board with 7:52 left in the second quarter. Junior quarterback Elijah Tyler punched himself into the end zone on a three-yard run followed by Evan Oldaker’s extra point to put the score at 7-0.

The Panthers immediately responded with a touchdown of their own, but junior defensive back Dalvin Spivie blocked the extra point. A blocked punt on the Bearcats’ next series put the Panthers in scoring position again. Americus Sumter quarterback Mekall Yancie rushed three yards into the end zone, then pulled off a 2-point conversion to raise the score 14-7.

On the kick off return, senior Victor Bodison ran 83 yards for a touchdown. Oldaker’s extra point was good and Bainbridge was tied with the Panthers 14-14 with 2:57 left in the half.

Bainbridge returned to score 41 more points in the second half and only allowed two more scores from Americus-Sumter.

“What it is, is we’re believing in each other, trusting in each other,” Bainbridge coach Jeff Littleton said. “We have confidence in our teammates and a lot of different players are making plays.”

After a 27-yard touchdown pass from Tyler to Bodison, senior cornerback Shawn Herring intercepted a pass and set up another Bearcat touchdown. Senior running back Tramaine McCray, returning from a torn meniscus, ran 17 yards for a touchdown. The Bearcats were ahead 28-14 with 5:23 left in the third quarter.

The Bearcat defense held the Panthers to only 21 yards on six plays on their following drive. McCray returned on the next series with another touchdown, this time a 1-yard run. Oldaker’s extra point lifted Bainbridge to a 35-14 lead with 11:27 left in the fourth quarter.

“It felt good,” McCray said about returning to the gridiron. “The line and defense (did well tonight).”

Pierce scored on the Bearcat’s next two series, his first run for 41 yards and his second for 52 yards with Oldaker missing the extra point after the first touchdown. The Panthers scored twice more as well, but Bainbridge was ahead 48-28 with 3:59 left in the fourth quarter.

The final touchdown of the night came from a fumble recovery by senior linebacker Dalin Mack, who ran 63 yards for the score.

“All I could think about was open field and going for the touchdown,” Mack said. “(We had to) keep pushing to the end until the clock hits zero.”

The loss sets the Panthers at 2-4 for the season. The Bearcats return to action against Division B opponent Worth County next Friday at Sylvester.