Bainbridge looks to win first round of playoffs at home

Published 7:07 pm Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Bainbridge coach Jeff Littleton isn’t looking at the season as a 10-0 start anymore.

All the excitement about winning the Region Championship against Cairo last week has to be pushed away. It’s the post-season, and Bainbridge is 0-0 again, as is everybody else in the playoffs.

“It’s a new season,” Littleton said. “Everybody is 0-0 now. It doesn’t matter what their record was before.”

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Bainbridge, the No. 1 seed from Region 1-AAAA, is scheduled to kick off Friday against Griffin High School, the No. 4 seed from Region 4-AAAA. As the No. 1 seed, Bainbridge will host the game at Centennial Field and is looking to become 11-0 for the first time in the program’s history.

The past two season have seen the Bears go 15-0 with a State Championship (2013) and an 11-1 season with a first round playoff win (2014).

“We’re playing a team that is 6-4, but they have won four straight games,” Littleton said, emphasizing the momentum coming from Griffin’s team and the unpredictable nature of the playoffs.

On offense, the Bears run a spread formation with plenty of quarterback runs and passes to wide receivers. Junior quarterback Tylan Morton is good at getting the ball to receivers Anthony Shinholster and Roddy Willis. Morton will also make big plays on his feet, Littleton said.

The Bears’ defense is similar to Bainbridge’s with a 3-4 formation. Stout defensive ends and stingy linebackers will put Bainbridge’s running game to the test.

Not that it will stop running backs Dameon Pierce and Malique Pate from trying. Pierce, a sophomore, has broken Bainbridge records with his performance this season.

With 1,514 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns through 10 games, Littleton will undoubtedly be keen on getting the ball in his hands.

To compliment the ground attack will be receivers Tyler Storey, Clark Wiggins and Zyon McGee. Storey has broken school records of his own on the receiving end this season, catching 61 passes for 1,129 yards, ranking him in the top three receivers in the state.

Littleton said the game against Griffin Friday is just the next step in a bigger mission.

“It’s exciting for the community to have a home playoff game,” Littleton said. “But you know, we’re on a mission to take each game one at a time. We’re excited to have an opportunity to compete in the state playoffs.”

Bainbridge kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Visit the Post-Searchlight’s Facebook page for the full playoff bracket.