Heartbreak at Hugh Mills

Published 12:25 am Saturday, November 1, 2014

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A swarm of Bearcats take on Westover running back Ervin Bush. — Jeff Findley

The Bainbridge Bearcats went into overtime Friday tied 21-21 with the Westover Patriots at Hugh Mills Stadium in Albany.
The Patriots scored first and managed a 2-point conversion on a botched snap during the point after attempt. The Bearcats were put in a situation where it was match Westover’s eight points or go home.
Quarterback Brett McLaughin scored on an eight-yard pass to tight end Russell Wheeler, but the Bearcats weren’t able to complete the 2-point conversion and fell 29-27 to Westover.
“We were just getting out there and executing,” McLaughin said.
The sophomore quarterback was 7-of-13 passing for 129 yards and one interception.
Bainbridge scored on its first possession with a 30-yard touchdown run from freshman Dameon Pierce.
Pierce rushed for 112 yards on 30 carries and caught two passes for 39 yards.
“I knew we needed it, so I was helping the team any way I could,” Pierce said. “We’re a team that’s going to keep fighting to the end. Tonight we just came out with a loss, that’s all.”
The Patriots scored a touchdown at the 4:55 mark in the first quarter to tie the game up 7-7.
McLaughin threw an interception on Bainbridge’s next drive, but the Patriots were held to a three-and-out by the Bearcats’ defense.
Bainbridge’s next touchdown was scored with 6:15 left in the second quarter. Oldaker’s extra point was good, and the Bearcats were up 14-7.
Bainbridge immediately followed the touchdown up with an onside kick, but a fumble by McLaughin three plays later ruined the Bearcat’s hopes of taking advantage of the field position.
Westover tied the score 14-14 with 34 seconds left in the half.
Bainbridge exploded in the second half when senior Tyler Story returned the Patriot’s first-drive punt for a 20-yard touchdown, putting the Bearcats ahead 21-14 with 9:19 left in the third quarter.
“We were doing it together, we just came up short,” Story said.
Westover drove 95 yards two series later for a touchdown and an extra point to tie the game at 21-21 with 6:20 left in the fourth quarter.
The Bearcats’ final drive of the night saw Story called for offensive pass interference twice, with a false start sandwiched in between. Bainbridge was facing a second-and-45 on its own 35-yard line when regulation time ended.
The first play of overtime was Westover’s touchdown.
“There was a great job by several players,” Bearcats coach Jeff Littleton said. “A couple players got their chance, and they stepped up and made the most of their opportunities. The entire team played together tonight. They showed remarkable effort.”
The Bearcats will play Thomas County Central next week for the Region 1-AAAA play-in game to determine the seeding for the state playoffs.

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