Bearcats struggle on road against Blue Devils

Published 10:58 pm Friday, October 4, 2019

It was the little things that contributed to Bainbridge’s loss against Tift County on Friday night in Tifton, coach Jeff Littleton said.

Bainbridge (5-1) kept sputtering out on offense and took all it could handle on defense, falling 24-6 to the Class 7A Blue Devils (2-4) in a game where the Bearcats never seemed to click into rhythm.

“Maybe we didn’t work as hard as a coaching staff, maybe we didn’t work as hard as a player,” said Littleton. “We’ve got to go back to work and fix some things.”

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The Bearcats suffered their first loss since October 2018, snapping a 12-game win streak that took Bainbridge to the 2018 state title and through an up and down first five games of the 2019 season. Littleton rallied his players around him at the end of the game and told them it was time to get better.

“We haven’t come together as a football team yet, even though we’ve been winning,” said Littleton. “It takes chemistry and it takes trust and it is a process of bringing things together. The process means executing the little things. We are not executing all the little things right now, and that showed up in the ball game tonight.”

The Blue Devils put up a double digit lead in the first quarter, hitting a 28-yard field goal and then recovering a squib kick on the ensuing kickoff. That drive ended with a touchdown and a 10-0 lead for Tift County.

Bainbridge quarterback Quayde Hawkins connected with Deyon Bouie on a big pass on the next drive, but Bouie was hit, lost the football and gave it right back to Tift County.

The Blue Devils found the end zone again with 2:32 left in the first half to make it a 17-0 game. A bright spot was a sack that ended the half for Tift County.

On Tift County’s opening second half drive, the Blue Devils fumbled and the ball was scooped up by Zion Bouie, who dashed 48 yards for a touchdown. A muffed snap on the PAT left Bainbridge with just 6 points from the turnover.

Tift County scored its final touchdown with 5:40 left in the third quarter to take a 24-6 lead.

Bainbridge was gifted an opportunity to put the game within two scores in the fourth quarter after a bad snap on a Tift County punt put the Bearcats in the red zone. Bainbridge turned the ball over on downs with no points to show.

The Bearcats begin their region schedule next Friday on the road against Veterans. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.