Bainbridge beats TCC to earn three-seed in state playoffs

Published 11:27 pm Friday, November 8, 2019

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Bainbridge held Thomas County Central to 169 yards of total offense, quarterback Quayde Hawkins threw three touchdowns and the Bearcats dominated their way through four quarters to beat the Yellow Jackets 42-7 on Homecoming.

Hawkins was 25-of-40 for 246 yards and no interceptions. He threw touchdown passes to Braxton Johnson (10 rec., 96 yards) twice and Michael Ryan (4 rec., 42 yards) once on a night that saw a lot of positives for the Bainbridge offense.

If Hawkins wasn’t passing it, he was handing it off to one of three Bainbridge running backs who showed up big in the rivalry game. Rashad Broadnax had enough time to score the first touchdown of the game before being sidelined with a leg injury. Latvian Bouie and Courtney Thomas came in to fill his shoes, combining for 121 yards on the ground. Thomas found the end zone on a 2-yard run during Bainbridge’s last drive of the game with less than 2 minutes to go.

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“They did a good job,” said coach Jeff Littleton about Thomas and Bouie.

The Bearcats (7-3, 2-2 Region) had 415 total yards of offense on the night.

“We executed the game plan on both sides of the football,” said Littleton. “We took advantage of some things they did on defense. We were able to do multiple things with a single thing.”

The loss eliminates Thomas County Central from the playoffs for the second straight year.

Bainbridge put together a 2-minute drive on its first possession of the game, with Hawkins connecting with multiple receivers and letting Broadnax carry the load on the ground all the way to the end zone for a 7-0 lead.

Backed up deep in their own territory, the Yellow Jackets fumbled on a third down play and the ball was recovered by Bainbridge. Hawkins hit Ryan in the front corner of the end zone to give Bainbridge a 14-0 lead.

Hawkins’s next two touchdown throws were to Johnson, the first toward the end of the first half and the second halfway through the third quarter. The Yellow Jackets returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yards to make the score 28-7.

Tevin McCray took an interception to the house with 8:42 left in the game to give Bainbridge a 35-7 lead.

Bainbridge will hit the road next week for the first round of the state playoffs against Griffin (9-1). The last time the Bearcats matched up against the Bears in the playoffs was in 2015 when Bainbridge won 35-7 at Centennial Field. The one blemish on Griffin’s schedule is a close 38-35 loss on the road at Starr’s Mill.

“We’re going to keep doing what we’re doing,” said Littleton. “We have three weeks of good practice. We’ve been coachable. We’ve taken care of the little things. We still have to continue to do things a little better than what we’ve been doing. We haven’t peaked yet. We can do better on offense, defense and special teams. We can do better with ourselves.”

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