Bearcats prepare for rival showdown against TCC

Published 4:56 pm Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Bainbridge Bearcats are 3-0 for the first time in four seasons and are looking for another win this Friday night against Thomas County Central.

After going 1-1 against the Yellow Jackets (2-1) last season—a 20-10 loss during the regular season and a sensational 14-9 win during the region play-in game in November—Bainbridge coach Jeff Littleton is training his players to focus on how to tackle TCC’s veer offense.

The biggest challenge will be staying disciplined.

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“Each individual is going to have to do their job,” Littleton said. “We’re going to have to be disciplined and control the line of scrimmage, and we’re going to have to tackle well.”

TCC’s option-style play shines a light on quarterback Kelias Williams, who can run well and throw accurately when he needs to. Last week against Americus-Sumter, Williams rushed for 87 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown.

Adding to the veer ground attack is running back Tyrice Cloud, who racked up 218 rushing yards against the Panthers.

Bainbridge’s defense held Monroe to 181 total yards and 7 points last Friday with the help from a strong secondary and maintaining control of the line of scrimmage.

Littleton said that same intensity matched with patience would be the key to stopping the Yellow Jackets’ offense.

TCC’s defense graduated two big defensive ends and a safety last season, but will still pose a problem if the Bearcats don’t execute their matchups, Littleton said.

“We’re able to take advantage of what the defense gives up,” Littleton said. “We’re executing the matchups that we are being given defensively. We just have to keep taking advantage of that and make sure we block well and run and catch.”

While the Monroe Tornadoes doubled their coverage on record-breaking Bainbridge receiver Tyler Story last week, they left wide receiver Zyon McGee open for seven receptions for 120 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Doubling up on Story leaves open McGee, doubling up on McGee leaves open Story and doubling up on both leaves room for sophomore running back Dameon Pierce, who rushed for 109 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown last week, to bolt through the secondary.

Of course, none of that would be possible without quarterback Brett McLaughlin, who broke Bainbridge’s record for completions last Friday (22) and passed for 244 yards and three touchdowns.

None of that matters, though, if Bainbridge players don’t execute their assignments against TCC, Littleton said.

Bainbridge kicks off against TCC Friday at Centennial Field at 7:30 p.m.