Bainbridge has work cut out for it against stellar Jones County team

Published 4:07 pm Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Bainbridge has been lucky to be on the winning side of blowouts the past couple of first rounds hosted at Centennial Field.

Last year, the Bearcats beat New Hampstead 48-6. In 2016, they won 50-12 against Whitewater.

Coach Jeff Littleton doesn’t think it’ll be that easy Friday against Jones County (8-2, 5-2 Region 4-AAAAA). The Greyhounds finished third in a competitive region.

“They are a really good football team,” said coach Jeff Littleton. “We are going to have to play at our best. This is not a usual first round. The last couple of years we have had blowout wins. I don’t believe this year is going to be that. We are going to have to play our best to handle this team.”

Fortunately for Bainbridge (5-5), it’s playing its best football of the season at the perfect time. Last Friday, the Bearcats defeated Thomas County Central 44-11 in Thomasville, securing a second place finish in Region 1-AAAAA behind Warner Robins. In the past two games, Bainbridge has outscored its opponents 93-11.

“As I’ve been saying, it’s just an accumulation of getting people in the right places and taking care of some little things that we either were not taking care of, or moving people in a new position,” said Littleton.

With the pieces finally clicking into place, Bainbridge will host Jones County at Centennial Field, marking the fourth straight year the Bearcats have hosted the first round of state.

The Greyhounds run a spread offense that shines the spotlight on two main receivers: Jontavis Robertson (1) and Maleek Wooten (6). Robertson has 53 receptions for 921 yards and 10 touchdowns. Wooten has 34 receptions for 630 yards and eight touchdowns.

On the ground, senior running back Semaj Ingram (24) has racked up 757 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Quarterback Hunter Costlow (11) runs the show under center. He has gone 139-of-217 for 2,413 yards and 30 touchdowns this season.

The Greyhounds have large linemen on both offense and defense, Littleton said. Four-star defensive end Ja’Darien Boykin has 31 tackles and 12 sacks this season. He is fielding offers from 23 schools, including Georgia Tech, Washington State and South Carolina. Offensive tackle Trey Bonner has offers from App State, Chattanooga and Georgia State.

“It’s going to take a home crowd and playing at our best, which we are starting to play a little better toward the end of the season,” said Littleton. “Of course, we got all the marbles to play for.”

Bainbridge kicks off against Jones County this Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Centennial Field.