The last time Bainbridge played Sandy Creek was an unexpected win for the Bearcats

Published 7:18 pm Tuesday, November 17, 2015

This Friday night coach Jeff Littleton’s Bainbridge High School Bearcats will host the Sandy Greek High School Patriots in a second round State Class AAAA football playoff game at Centennial Field.

When I heard about the matchup my mind quickly flashed back to 2003 when coach Greg Guy’s Bearcats traveled to Tyrone to meet the undefeated Sandy Creek Patriots in a first round State Class AAAA playoff game.

The Bearcats won the game 31-13 that night at Sandy Creek’s Battelfield Stadium behind the strong play of quarterback Patrick Riley, tight end Sedrick Newby and running back Phillip Gamble.

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The Bearcats took a 14-7 halftime lead on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Riley to Newby and an extra point kick by Markece McIntyre in the first quarter. McIntyre’s 36-yard field goal later in the quarter increased the Bearcats lead to 17-7.

The star player for Sandy Creek that night was former Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets All-American wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who is currently an All-Pro wide receiver with the Detroit Lions and is nicknamed “Megatron.”

Our Bearcats defensive backs shut down Johnson that night. I remember talking to coach Guy on the field after the game and what a broad smile he had on his face.

“Joe, I am so proud of these young players, tonight,” coach Guy said. “Not many people around the state gave us a chance, but our players showed them what great pride and desire can do.”

Every time I see Calvin Johnson pull in a big catch for the Lions on television,

I think back to that night in 2003 when our determined Bearcats defensive backs held him in check in Tyrone.

I wish coach Littleton and our current Bearcats the best of luck for another big victory Friday night in Tyrone.