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Bainbridge tops Harris County on way to Region Championship game next week

Bainbridge is fully in the driver’s seat in Region 1-AAAAA after a dominating 40-13 win over Harris County Friday night on Homecoming.

The Bearcats (7-2, 3-0 Region) will travel to undefeated Warner Robins next Friday to compete for a Region Championship.

“We want to try to focus this week, get better every day and play for that region championship, bring that home to Bainbridge,” coach Jeff Littleton said.

Getting better every day was something Bainbridge struggled with early this week, according to Littleton. The Monday practice went slower than normal, but the Bearcats picked it up later in the week. Similarly, Bainbridge was slow in the first quarter of its game against Harris County, but pulled it together.

“We didn’t get better on Monday than we were,” Littleton said. “I think it caught up with us. But we finished well in the week and we were able to finish the game. We were kind of sloppy to start with on both sides of the ball. Real sluggish.”

It didn’t help that starting running back Dameon Pierce and wide receiver/safety Zyon McGee were suspended the first half. But Bainbridge’s other tailbacks handled duties as well as ever.

Markel Broadnax had nine carries for 28 yards and a touchdown, Caleb McDowell had 94 yards on six carries and a touchdown and Rashad Broadnax had three yards on four carries for a touchdown.

“We came out and weren’t playing our best game in the beginning,” McDowell said. “But we are a strong team. We’re powerful.”

The Tigers opened the game by recovering a fumbled kickoff on Bainbridge’s 19-yard line, but couldn’t move the ball any closer and missed a field goal. Bainbridge took over on downs and marched down to the Tigers’ 22-yard line and attempted a field goal, but the ball bounced off the lower bar.

Points finally made it on the board with 3:23 left in the first quarter when the Tigers found the end zone on a 21-yard run score.

Bainbridge immediately responded with a 61-yard touchdown run from McDowell to tie the game 7-7.

Bainbridge scored again with 8:57 left in the first quarter when quarterback Mark Loeffler threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Spivie to go up 14-7. Loeffler finished 14-of-21 with 169 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception.

Markel Broadnax scored with 5:24 left in the first half and the Bearcats went into the locker room up 21-7.

Bainbridge started hot in the third quarter when Tre Storey tackled Harris County’s running back in the end zone for a safety, making the score 23-7.

“I think we are doing better as a team and coming together more than we did against Lee County,” Storey said, referencing the first game of the season. “We are starting to trust each other more.”

Rashad punched the ball in the end zone to make the score 30-7.

Kicker Caleb Harris hit a 29-yard field goal to make the score 33-7 and Pierce finished off the night with a 2-yard run to make the score 40-7.

“The coaches and players did a good job of focusing and getting things corrected,” Littleton said.

Bainbridge kicks off at 7:30 p.m. against Warner Robins next Friday.