Bearcats to face off against Warner Robins

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Bearcats will fight for the opportunity to host the first round of the Class AAAAA State Playoffs when they meet Warner Robins in Bainbridge this Friday.

Heading into the final game of the regular season with a 2-1 region schedule (3-5 overall), Bainbridge needs a win against the Demons to lock in a second place berth.

But the possibility of coming in first place in the region is still alive. If Thomas County Central loses to Harris County this Friday, the Bearcats will claim the Region Championship. It would be the program’s first back-to-back region titles. The first and second place teams in the region host the first round of the playoffs, while the third and fourth place teams travel.

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“I’ve told (the players) the scenarios,” coach Jeff Littleton said. “But the bottom line is we have to take care of ourselves. We control a little bit of it on our own. If we take care of Warner Robins and do what we need to do, then we’ll have a home playoff game regardless of what happens anywhere else.”

Warner Robins (3-6, 2-1 Region 1-AAAAA) is fresh off a big 18-13 win over Veterans, a team the Bearcats opened their region schedule with and beat on Oct. 7. The Demons have also beaten Harris County, but like Bainbridge, is dealing with a mark in the loss column from TCC.

Both Bainbridge and Warner Robins will be fighting for a second place spot when they meet Friday.

The Demons are led on offense by quarterback Michael Bradley, who has switched into the position from wide receiver.

In two games, he has completed 19-of-30 passes for 201 yards. On the ground he has rushed for 198 yards on 41 carries and a couple touchdowns.

With Bradley comes a pair of running backs that have a combined 1,173 rushing yards and five touchdowns apiece.

Littleton said Bryant is more of a running quarterback than a throwing quarterback.

“We have to stop their rushing attack and not give up big plays on the passing game,” Littleton said.

The Demons are big up front and in the middle on defense, Littleton said, and are led in tackles by senior linebacker Elijah Sisa with 42.

“They have linebackers that run to the football and good cover guys on the perimeter, so we have our work cut out for us there,” Littleton said. “We are going to have to move the football, get some first downs and make some big plays on offense.”

Bainbridge quarterback Brett McLaughlin is still recovering from a high-ankle sprain from two weeks ago against Thomas County Central. Mark Loeffler has stepped into the position, but it is uncertain whether he’ll be the starter come Friday.

Bainbridge kicks off against Warner Robins at 7:30 p.m. at Centennial Field.