Bearcats looking for answers after two loses

Published 6:16 pm Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Bainbridge is standing at an uncomfortable 0-2 start as they prepare this week to travel to Blakely to play the Early County Bobcats (0-2-1).

After last week’s 17-14 loss to Cairo (1-AAAA), the Bainbridge players and coaches are still struggling to find the team’s identity. Apart from an 80-yard touchdown run by Dameon Pierce, the Bearcats struggled to move the ball on the ground. Quarterback Brett McLaughlin was 11-for-28 with 162 passing yards, but his passes were bouncing out of the hands of Bainbridge receivers all night.

“Most of them are disappointed in themselves for not doing things the right way sometimes, but it’s always correctable,” coach Jeff Littleton said. “We have to be able to zone out distractions and focus on what we are supposed to do. That’s our job as coaches and our job as players.”

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Littleton added the team has to be more focused, pay attention to the details and handle their responsibilities.

“We watch film and we show them mistakes. We show them times they have done well. But we are not doing anything different than what we’ve been doing.”

The Syrupmakers took advantage of a loose Bainbridge defensive secondary, with Cairo quarterback completing 24 of 40 passes for 254 yards and two touchdowns.

“We weren’t in the right place a lot of those times,” Littleton said. “We have to do a better job of players and coaches relaying the coverages to each other. It goes back to focus, basically.”

Bainbridge will need all the focus it can muster Friday against the Bobcats, a team that has always played the Bearcats tough.

Early County runs a Wing-T offense out of the shotgun, and calls plays depending on the personnel it has in the game.

Running back Tyrese Thornton leads the ground attack. He had 59 yard on 10 carries against Seminole County on Friday, Sept. 2.

Quarterback Eli Cushing, stepping in for injured quarterback Kevin George, was 4-for-6 against the Indians for 53 passing yards.

“(George) got hurt, but he may be back this week, so we have to prepare for both of them,” Littleton said.

Big players on defense for Early County include Tayler Wimberly, Trevarius Brown, Robert Batten and Carter Roland.

“They crowd the box and try to make you pass the football,” Littleton said, adding that eight or nine players will often be in the box to stop the run.

Bainbridge kicks off against Early County Friday at 8 p.m. in Blakely.