Bearcats in the running for state playoffs

Published 11:58 pm Friday, November 7, 2014


Dalvin Spivie sweeps around the outside edge Friday against Thomas County Central. — Jeff Findley


The Bainbridge Bearcats donned black jerseys Friday as they took on Thomas County Central (7-3) in a win-or-go-home Region 1-AAAA play-in game.

Freshman running back Dameon Pierce rushed for 149 yards on 26 carries, Bainbridge held the Yellow Jackets to 198 yards of total offense and the Bearcats sank their teeth into a 14-9 win at Centennial Field.

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Bainbridge improves their record to 6-4 for the season and claims fourth place in Region 1-AAAA as well as a playoff spot.

“We’re just executing the game plan,” senior defensive end Hudson Reynolds said. “We practiced to win this week, and we came out here and did that. We won the game the game before we even came out here tonight. We won it in practice this week.”

Sophomore quarterback Brett McLaughlin handed the ball off more than he threw it, going 2-of-2 passing for 11 yards and a rushing touchdown.

“It feels good to knock out TCC,” McLaughlin said. “They’ve been in the playoffs for a long time and it feels good to knock them out.”

Stepping in on certain plays was quarterback Elijah Tyler, who had 16 yards rushing on five carries and a touchdown.

Bainbridge and Central traded fumbles during their opening series, ultimately leading to a fourth-and-2 on the Bearcats’ 38-yard line. A bad punt snap set the Yellow Jackets up on Bainbridge’s 13-yard line and led to a touchdown from running back Nick Patterson. A fumbled snap on the point after kept the score at 6-0 with 6:39 left in the first quarter.

Bainbridge responded with a six-play drive, culminating with a touchdown from Tyler and an extra point from junior kicker Evan Oldaker. Bainbridge led 7-6 with 4:29 left in the first quarter.

The Bearcats took advantage of a fumbled punt return two series later and scored marched from their own 41-yard line for a touchdown with 1:16 left in the first half. McLaughlin scored on a 1-yard punch into the end zone. Oldaker’s extra point was good and Bainbridge held the lead 14-6

The Bearcats held TCC on their next series and received a fair catch on a punt. Instead of running a play, Oldaker attempted a 56-yard free kick and came up short. The Yellow Jackets returned to the field with just over two seconds left in the half and failed on a pass play.

Bainbridge’s defense ran the show for the rest of the game, with an interception from senior cornerback Shawn Herring on the opening series of the second half. Central was able to put together a drive that resulted in a field goal with just over five seconds left in the third quarter, putting the score at 14-9.

On the next two series for Central, the Bainbridge defense was able to stop the Yellow Jackets on fourth down plays in the red zone.

“It just shows you the determination and the fight that we have,” coach Jeff Littleton said about the defensive stand. “We talked about playing together at all times and never giving up. The kids believe in that. That’s what happened. Somebody stepped up and made a play here, somebody stepped up and made a play there. It doesn’t just have to be one person.”

Bainbridge’s last win against TCC was 27-24 in overtime at Centennial Field in 2011.

The Bearcats head to Dexter, Georgia, for the first round of state playoffs against Region 2-AAAA winner West Laurens High School (7-3) next Friday.

Kick off is at 7:30 p.m.