Playoffs Round 3: Bainbridge football to face veer offense against St. Pius X

Published 10:06 am Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Quarterback Brett McLaughlin holds up the football to celebrate the Bearcats’ first touchdown against Sandy Creek last Friday. Bainbridge won 14-7 in overtime.

Bainbridge has worked hard all year to get to this point.

Eight teams are left standing in the Class AAAA playoffs, one of them being the Bearcats, and after last Friday’s 14-7 overtime win against Sandy Creek, they are looking to keep the momentum rolling.

“It feels great to beat such a great football program in Sandy Creek,” Bainbridge coach Jeff Littleton said. “It was a very hard-fought game. We can say we have been battletested now and we came out on top against a very tough, hard-nosed football team.”

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Sandy Creek’s power-I run game forced the Bainbridge defense to hold the running back duo of Jaelon Greene and Marvin Hubbard, and they did just that, making multiple key stops in the red zone. Two missed field goals by the Patriots, one with less than a minute to go with the game tied 7-7, kept the Bearcats alive and eager.

Tight end Russell Wheeler’s catch from quarterback Brett McLaughlin in first overtime gave Bainbridge the go-ahead score and the Bearcat defense sealed the victory by keeping the Patriots out of the end zone.

St. Pius X (10-2), the No. 1 seed from Region 6, poses another type of run threat, albeit one Bainbridge has faced before this season.

“They are a veer triple option team,” Littleton said “They have some Wing-T tendencies as well. They have a very disciplined approach. They run the veer, they squeeze everybody inside and run some buck sweeps outside around the perimeter and pitch off of the veer.”

Bainbridge’s mid-season opponent Thomas County Central also ran a veer offense. The Bearcat defense held the Yellow Jackets to 16 points while Bainbridge put up 34 points of their own.

The Golden Lions have three runners with over 600 yards apiece. Senior Lawson Cooper leads the team with 788 yards and 11 touchdowns. Junior running back Grant Holloman follows with 708 yards and 10 touchdowns, and senior quarterback Reed Egan has 609 rushing yards and nine touchdowns.

Egan has only passed 58 times this season, completing 37 for 608 yards and five touchdowns.

“They are real senior heavy, so they have a lot of experience and have played in a lot of ball games over the past 10 years or so,” Littleton said. “They are a very disciplined football team, and we are going to have to be disciplined to stop their offensive threats.”

The Golden Lions defense matches up according to the personnel of their opponent.

“They have some different packages,” Littleton said. “They have some really tall kids and bat a lot of balls down at the line of scrimmage.”

Bainbridge kicks off against St. Pius X Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Centennial Field.