Bainbridge football shares state championship journey with Rotary

Published 4:28 pm Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Head Coach Jeff Littleton came to Rotary on Tuesday accompanied by four of the senior teammates to talk about the road the team travelled to win the State Championship.

He attempted to explain how a team that started out the first part of the season 2-4 and then hit rock bottom could possibly rally enough to make it to the state playoffs, then win the championship.

“It wasn’t me,” he explains. “It was everybody doing good things all the time. Our kids were coachable enough to know what to do.” 

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They played Veterans, a team that was 6-0 and it kind of all came together, he said. 

“We beat them by two touchdowns. All of a sudden we were on a roll, then we had an off week. Nobody wants to have an off week when they are on a roll.”

Unbelievably, the Hurricane hit in the middle of that off week. 

“It was terrible. What could have been worse? But I think it all kinda brought us all together,” said Littleton. “We prepared for Warner Robins the next week; and we play a team you haven’t scored a point on and they have beaten us repeatedly. You don’t have the confidence at that point.”

Littleton said they played a decent first half, but were still down three touchdowns and the Demons ended up routing Bainbridge 38-0.

“We started looking at what went wrong and we talked about the matchup,” said Littleton.

Next on the lineup they were going to play Harris County, a game Bainbridge won, then beat Thomas County Central in the Jacket’s Nest, and ended up with a 5-5 record. Jones County was next. Littleton described them as having a strong offense team and Bainbridge as a strong defense team.

“We end up winning that game and are on the road to Wayne County; but by that time we just had that confidence that we weren’t going to be stopped.” 

Then, Bainbridge was losing at half time, and just had to keep working the process. “We just started doing what was necessary and we won,” he said. The next game was against Buford, a team described as having a super record.

“They have a record that is hard for a kid to look at,” he said. “It was decided they didn’t want to hear the name Buford, so they started calling it the Green team.” Littleton said it was a hard-hitting battle in the coldest, wettest game ever, but Bainbridge won. Then came Stockbridge. Bainbridge was ahead when all of a sudden Stockbridge had a 70-yard drive and scores.

“When they kicked off, we picked up the ball and scored, winning the football game.”

Bainbridge was now facing a hard game against Warner Robins at Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the state title, and Bainbridge won in an exciting triple overtime game for the ages.

Littleton described it as a super exciting season, with much of the success being attributed to the four seniors he brought with him to Rotary: Roman Harrison, Randy Fillingame, Ben Mitchell and Brad Mitchell.