Bainbridge opens season with home win against Early Co.

Published 11:29 pm Friday, August 28, 2015


Junior quarterback Brett McLaughlin steps back to pass during Friday’s home game against Early County. — Jeff Findley

The Bainbridge Bearcats put up a stingy defense and the offense racked up six touchdowns in their 42-13 home opener win against Early County on Friday.

Bainbridge coach Jeff Littleton said he thought his team executed well early on. The Bearcats (1-0) went into the locker room at halftime with a 35-0 lead.

“We came out on fire and executed our game plan to start with,” Littleton said. “The second half we kind of bogged down a little bit. We talked about finishing all week and I just don’t feel like we finished.”

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Both of Early County’s touchdowns were scored in the fourth quarter. The first was a 5-yard run by Bobcat running back Gerald Tolbert at the start of the quarter, followed by a missed point-after attempt. Deon Upson scored the second on a 4-yard run with just over a minute left in the game.

The Bearcat defense kept Tolbert, the Bobcat’s main rushing weapon, to 64 yards on the night.

Junior quarterback Brett McLaughlin was 11-for-15 with 167 passing yards with two touchdown passes.

McLaughlin’s main targets were senior wide receiver Tyler Story, who scored both passing touchdowns, and sophomore wide receiver Zyon McGee.

“Not only do we have one weapon this year, we have two,” McLaughlin said about Story and McGee. He also gave credit to the offensive line. “We had a lot of protection and I had plenty of time to make my reads. Lots of practice came through.”

Bainbridge’s other offensive weapon was sophomore running back Dameon Pierce, who rushed for 96 yards and scored three touchdowns.

Story and Pierce drove the score up to 28-0 in the first quarter with two touchdowns apiece. Pierce’s third touchdown came in the second quarter on a 35-yard run where Bobcat defenders were bulldozed and dragged at his ankles on his way to the end zone. The score went up 35-0.

Two interceptions, one by senior defensive back Curtis Keaton and the other by junior linebacker Lerone Broadnax, kept the Bobcats from gaining any momentum in the second quarter.

Junior defensive back Kerenski Williams grabbed another interception and returned it 60 yards for a pick-6 in the third quarter to drive the score to 42-0.

“I saw the opportunity and took it,” Williams said. “I had to take it for my team.”

Despite numerous penalties, Littleton wasn’t too concerned, calling them “effort penalties.”

“Defensively we did well. Offensively we did well. We had a lot of good things,” Littleton said.

Bainbridge returns next Friday with a road game against rival school the Cairo Syrupmakers. Kick off is at 7:30 p.m. at West Thomas Stadium.

Bainbridge opens season with home win against Early Co.