Bearcats look to finish strong on tail end of regular season

Published 8:31 pm Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Bainbridge Bearcats have had an extra week of practice in preparation for their game at Westover Friday, and coach Jeff Littleton is using the time to his team’s advantage.

“Last week we worked on some fundamental blocking and tackling and did some one-on-one stuff to try to get back blocking and getting off of blocks and making tackles,” Littleton said. “I was putting ourselves in situations where we closed it down and made a smaller area so we could focus on individuals.”

The extra attention worked, Littleton said, noting he’s trying to get the team “tougher.” The Bearcats (5-3) will need every bit of toughness they can muster before heading into Westover (4-4) on Halloween.

“They are a multiple offense,” Littleton said. “They run the I-formation and they run gun. They have an athletic quarterback that can do pretty much anything they want to do, really.”

Patriots quarterback Emory McKenzie scored two running touchdowns and a pass touchdown last Friday against Dougherty, a game they went on to win 27-8.

“They can line up and run it right at you and be a power team, or they can spread you out and be fast,” Littleton said. “We’re going to have to get lined up and be able to match their intensity and aggressiveness.”

On defense, Westover senior defensive tackle Trenton Thompson, a Georgia commit, is only part of a massive front line. Defensive tackle Detravious Greene and a pair of physical defensive ends will be a threat to Bainbridge’s run-based offense.

Littleton said the most important part of dealing with the aggressive Patriot defense is Bearcat lineman sticking with their blocks for the duration of a play.

“They outweigh us a good bit, overall,” Littleton said. “So our challenge is to be able to stay on the blocks a little longer.”

Bainbridge kicks off at Westover at 7:30 p.m. Friday.