Bainbridge makes history with 14-6 Region Championship win
Published 1:16 am Saturday, November 7, 2015
It was a game for the history books.
For the first time ever, the Bainbridge Bearcats are 10-0 with a Region Championship under their belt after Friday night’s 14-6 win over the Cairo Syrupmakers (4-5) at West Thomas Stadium.
Cairo was on Bainbridge’s 25-yard line with less than a minute left in the game and threatening to score when Syrupmaker quarterback John Michael Owens’ pass was intercepted by Elsamar Williams to seal the victory.
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“I just saw the hole, and I looked up and saw the ball, then glory,” Williams said. “My adrenaline is pumped up. Me and my team—we put in the hard work together.”
Two sophomores scored both of Bainbridge’s touchdowns: wide receiver Clark Wiggins and running back Dameon Pierce.
Wiggins’ touchdown catch from Brett McLaughlin was a 13-yard pass that saw him shaking off a defender to bust into the end zone. The score put the Bearcats up 7-3, almost a full quarter after the Syrupmakers hit a 36-yard field goal.
“It was unbelievable,” Wiggins said. “The only thing that was going through my head was to catch the ball, and then you can get yards after. I just had the biggest smile on my face.”
Pierce’s touchdown came late in the third quarter on a 12-yard run. Pierce took the hand off and churned up the middle, dragging several defenders behind him as he shuffled yard-by-yard across the goal line. He finished with 63 yards on 20 carries.
The Bearcats only allowed one more field goal from Cairo, a 27-yarder that made the score 14-6 early in the fourth quarter.
The game was physical, Bainbridge coach Jeff Littleton said, and the Bearcats had to earn every one of their points to say in it.
“We played a very physical team,” Littleton said. “They took some chances and brought some people off the edges because they knew some things we were going to do and try to take advantage of. They changed up and made some adjustments and we changed up and made some adjustments and it was just a good hard fought game from the players and coaches as well.”
Senior wide receiver Tyler Storey was suspended the first half of the game. The moment he stepped on the field in the second half, there was an obvious tone shift from Bainbridge.
Storey had four receptions for 52 yards and gave the Bearcats the spark they needed to push past the Syrupmakers.
“It’s putting my team first, not giving up on my team, and the team trusting each other to come together,” Storey said. “You can’t stop that. When everybody is on the same page, you can’t stop it, no matter who they are.”
McLaughlin was 10-of-20 with three interceptions and a touchdown pass. McLaughlin was forced to find new targets with his usual target, Storey, suspended for the first half.
He said he was pleased with the work Wiggins did on his touchdown play.
“It was weird just trying to get the feeling of them, but they got the job done,” McLaughlin said. “It feels great.”
Littleton said he was excited for not just the team, but the Bainbridge community.
“It is very exciting for everybody,” Littleton said. “Just seeing the excitement from everybody—not only the players and the coaches but the whole community. It has just erupted. The kids are feeling that, and they are not satisfied. They are working as hard as they can work every day. They are not being complacent.”
Bainbridge is set to host the first round of the State Class AAAA Playoffs next Friday at Centennial Field. The opponent will be the Region 4-AAAA four seed team, which will be decided on Saturday, Nov. 7.