Bearcats look to get back on track in time for region play

Published 5:49 pm Tuesday, October 4, 2016


The Bainbridge Bearcats are off to their slowest start since 2002.

Last Friday’s close game to Rickards saw running back Dameon Pierce rush for 331 yards on 51 carries, and the Bearcats needed every one of those yards at Gene Cox Stadium in Tallahassee. Unfortunately, despite a hard-fought effort, the Bearcats fell 36-34 and to a 1-4 record.

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The slate can almost be wiped clean this Friday, though.

Bainbridge begins its Region 1-AAAAA schedule against Veterans (3-3) for Homecoming, and the Bearcats are looking to get a win to start the region gauntlet off hot. With only five teams in the region, the top four will have an opportunity to compete in the State Playoffs.

Veterans is led by junior quarterback Leyton Pinckney, who has thrown 58-for-129 for 799 yards and three touchdowns through six games.

Pinckney’s big receiver is Rochelle Dinkins, who has 25 receptions for 404 yards and two touchdowns. Other big receivers include Jeremy Horton (21 receptions, 226 yards) and Jaylen Lowder (8 receptions, 126 yards).

The Warhawks running game is led by Amarrian Brown with 317 yards on 65 carries for three touchdowns. Veterans’ touchdown leader is rusher Landon Quarles, who has scored six touchdowns through 40 carries and 157 yards.

Against Rickards, the Bearcats game plan came down to a hardnose run game led by Pierce and Donovan McCray (5 carries, 29 yards). For Bainbridge to find success with that approach again, the offensive line will need to continue sticking with their blocks like they did against the Raiders. Pierce attributed his record-setting night to the offensive line and wide receivers doing a good job of keeping Raiders defenders off his back.

Defensively, the Bearcats will need to step up in the secondary to handle the Warhawks passing game. Raiders quarterback was 15-of-25 for 203 yards and two touchdowns, and scored another touchdown on the ground.

Bainbridge kicks off against the Warhawks at 7:30 p.m. at Centennial Field.