Dothan Tigers drop Bainbridge Bearcats with fourth quarter touchdown

Published 11:50 pm Friday, September 23, 2016


The start to Bainbridge’s season has been a slow one.

The Bearcats (1-3) struggled to get the offense going Friday night against the Dothan Tigers, and lost 13-6 at home.

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“I saw Dothan playing hard and I saw us not executing assignments,” coach Jeff Littleton said. “We played a tough team there. We’ve got to execute our assignments in order to do well. We missed a bunch of assignments, but like I said, Dothan’s a good team and they had a lot to do with that.”

Running back Dameon Pierce scored Bainbridge’s lone touchdown, a 21-yard run that saw him spinning away from Dothan defenders into the end zone with 7:11 left in the third quarter. Caleb Harris missed the extra point, but the score put Bainbridge on top 6-3.

The Tigers (2-4) kicked their first field goal as time expired in the first half, putting them up 3-0. A second one was kicked for 31 yards at the start of the fourth quarter.

Dothan’s go-ahead score occurred with 2:36 left in the game. The Tigers started on their 27-yard line and marched down the field, aided by a personal foul call against Bainbridge and multiple big runs from quarterback Bubba McDaniel.

On third-and-8 from the 21-yard line, McDaniel connected with receiver Tyson Williams, who turned and darted into the end zone for the score.McDaniel was 15-for-30 for 163 yards, but he was most lethal on his feet, rushing for 138 yards on 21 carries.

The Bearcat defense often struggled to stop him from slipping out of the pocket and into a wide-open secondary.

“We got to get everybody to the ball, every gold hat to the ball,” said outside linebacker Kerenski Williams. “Every quarterback will do that if we don’t stay on the ball.”

Quarterback Brett McLaughlin was 5-for-18 for 28 yards and an interception. McLaughlin was pulled out in the third quarter and backup quarterback Mark Loeffler took the field. He went 0-for-2 passing, but helped lead Bainbridge’s drive to the end zone.

“The decision was to try to get a spark from someone,” Littleton said. “We practice both guys there and we were just trying to get a spark, get something going.”

Pierce rushed for 123 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown.

Donovan McCray also helped on the ground with 12 yards on three carries.

“We didn’t execute like we should have,” offensive lineman Christian Glover said. “We didn’t run through our blocks. A bunch of missed assignments. Just flat out didn’t show up to play.”

Littleton said the Bearcats need to hate to lose more than they want to win.

“My job is to motivate our kids,” Littleton said. “Our kids have to motivate themselves and our senior leaders have to make the other kids follow them. We’ve got to make sure we’re all going in the same direction.”

Bainbridge will play next Friday against Rickards at Gene Cox Stadium in Tallahassee at 7 p.m.