The Bearcats open the 2016 season against a tough opponent with a loaded defense

Published 4:52 pm Tuesday, August 23, 2016


The Bainbridge Bearcats kick off the 2016 season Friday against Lee County (1-AAAAAA) at Centennial Field, and the energy among the team is high as they practice for the home opener.

The Trojans return eight starters on defensive, four of whom are sitting on Division 1 offers.

Email newsletter signup

Defensive back Otis Reese is committed to Michigan and lineman Aubrey Solomon decommitted from the Wolverines Tuesday afternoon. Another lineman, Tory Carter, is committed to LSU and middle linebacker Akileis Leroy received an offer from LSU over the summer.

Bainbridge Coach Jeff Littleton said Lee County runs a 3-5 or 3-4 formation, and they constantly throw different coverages at their opponents.

“They bring them in from all angles,” Littleton said. “They run well, they are strong and they are big.”

Littleton emphasized the importance of the offensive line handling Lee County’s aggressive defense, pathing a path for Bearcat running backs and giving quarterback Brett McLaughlin ample time to find his receivers.

“You win and lose ball games at the line of scrimmage,” Littleton said. “We got to make sure we control things on both sides of the ball.”

Many new faces will step up on offense this season for the Trojans, including first-year starting quarterback Jase Orndorff. A junior, Orndorff has a good arm and makes good decisions, according to Littleton, made even better by wide receivers Tyquavious Terrell, Terrien Wester and DreQuan Garmon, Jr.

“They are about 70 percent pass,” Littleton said. “They run inside and outside zone, they run Power-I and they throw a lot of screens.”

Running back Mark Robinson will handle rushing duties for the Trojans.

“They are big up front,” Littleton said. “We have to use our quickness and our speed to get in good position as far as passing lanes and stopping the run.”

Last Thursday, Bainbridge running back Dameon Pierce and starting defensive tackle Ryan Adams were injured during a scrimmage against Godby (Tallahassee).

Pierce was pulled out in the fourth quarter with a low-grade ankle sprain. Littleton did not rule out his ability to play Friday.

Adams had an MCL injury to his right leg. It is unclear at the moment whether he will play this season.

Bainbridge kicks off against Lee County at 7:30 p.m. at Centennial Field.