Bearcats’ Cinderella season racing to its finale next Tuesday at State Championship

Published 4:28 pm Friday, December 7, 2018

After 36 years, the Bainbridge Bearcats will make an appearance at the State Championship game.

The Bearcats are matched up against Region 1-AAAAA opponent Warner Robins, who beat Bainbridge 38-0 on Oct. 16. Bainbridge is looking at a shot to avenge its only loss in the region and finish off one of the greatest playoff runs in program history. The Demons are looking for their first state championship title since 2004.

Despite starting the season 2-4 and finishing the regular season 5-5 and unranked, the Bearcats beat four Top 10 opponents in the playoffs.

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Their run includes toppling Georgia high school football giant Buford 23-20 in the quarterfinals. Buford had appeared in 11 straight state semifinal games until this season. The Wolves also celebrated 35 straight home playoff wins until Bainbridge snapped the streak. Buford head coach John Ford stepped down the following week, despite a 21-5 two-year record.

Last Friday, Bainbridge defeated Stockbridge 20-19, thanks to two touchdowns from Caleb McDowell and a pick-6 from freshman Zion Bouie. Stockbridge has been in three state semifinals, but hasn’t ever made a state championship game appearance.

This year’s state title will be decided at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Folks interested in attending the game will need to purchase their tickets at the door of the event. Parking passes for the Gold, Blue and Yellow lots, where Bainbridge has been designated to park, are available online at

Bainbridge fans are asked to enter through Gate 1 of Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

On Monday, the community will celebrate the Bearcats and bid them farewell during their departure for Atlanta.

At 12:30 p.m., there will be a “Cat Walk” at Bainbridge High School, where players will walk along the sidewalk by the gym and toward the band room. At 12:45 p.m., the Bearcats will load onto buses and leave campus. Then they will make their rounds around the city, stopping at Jones-Wheat Elementary at 12:55 p.m., Hutto Middle School at 1:05 p.m., West Bainbridge at 1:20 p.m., John Johnson at 1:35 p.m., Potter Street at 1:45 p.m. and Bainbridge Middle School at 1:55 p.m.

The buses will make one last pass through downtown Bainbridge and circle Willis Park at 2:05 p.m. before leaving town.