Bearcats ready for TCC after bye week

Published 3:45 pm Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Bearcats (2-4) are taking advantage of the bye week to prepare for Thomas County Central (5-3) this Friday.

“It was good to be able to have a week to prepare go back and do some things,” coach Jeff Littleton said. “Get good at some things we aren’t good at and work on some things that we needed to work on. At the same time, we had a chance to get started on Thomas County Central a little early.”

The Yellow Jackets will pose a challenge for Bainbridge with a veer offense led by quarterback Kelias Williams, who is a threat both on the ground and in the air.

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Littleton explained there are three parts to TCC’s option offense attack, starting with the dive. If the dive isn’t taken away, he said, it’s difficult to break down the other phases of the veer.

“You have to do that up front, and we have to play a really good game up front and control the line of scrimmage,” Littleton said.

Williams is TCC’s leading rusher this season, rushing 121 times for 829 yards and 16 touchdowns. Other main running backs in the Yellow Jacket arsenal are Tyrice Cloud (75 carries, 474 yards, 4 TD) and Carlie Dismuke (41 carries, 1932 yards, 1 TD).

But TCC isn’t just the ground threat opponents are used to facing in previous years.

“The other part with their offense is (Williams) can really throw the football as well, and they are throwing it more this year,” Littleton said. “That makes it even tougher to stop. When that engine is running smoothly, it is really hard to stop, especially when you have a good quarterback like (Williams).”

The wide receiver pair of Jamie Palmer (15 receptions, 427 yards, 3 TD) and Tay Cooksey (18 receptions, 370 yards, 2 TD) are Williams’ main targets, and will take a focused secondary effort by Bainbridge to keep them covered.

Bainbridge’s offense, centered around running back Dameon Pierce (125 carries, 1,009 yards, 13 TD), will need to mix up the run and pass to break through the Yellow Jackets’ defense, Littleton said.

“They are pretty big inside, stout inside,” Littleton said. “We are going to have to protect the perimeter laterally by running and passing the football. We look to do that to try to keep them off balance.”

Safety Derrick Brock and defensive lineman Tyrelle Palmer are big playmakers for the Yellow Jackets. TCC cornerback Tony Daniels has two interceptions this season.

“The defense line is very stout, so we are going to have to be able to loosen them up a little bit by running the ball laterally and throwing the ball down the football field,” said Littleton, who added that the passing game is improving by the day at practice.

Bainbridge is two weeks off a 31-6 win against Veterans, the first team on the region schedule. Last Friday, TCC dropped 33-28 against the Warhawks, putting Bainbridge in the driver’s seat in Region 1-AAAAA. A win against the Yellow Jackets, Harris County and Warner Robins would earn the Bearcats a Region Championship and a No. 1 seed slot in the State Playoffs.

Bainbridge kicks off against TCC Friday in Thomasville at 7:30 p.m.