BMS 7th grade football team crowned region champions

Published 4:12 pm Thursday, October 5, 2023

The seventh-grade Bearcats beat Hahira Middle School 40-12 to capture the region title. 

“I’ve been very pleased with this group,” said Bearcats head coach Blake Carruthers. “They are special.”

The game started close, with the teams tied at the end of the first quarter. The Bearcat defense showed out in the second quarter, securing two pick-sixes and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. 

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The defensive efforts put the Bearcats up 24-6.

“That’s kind of when we started pulling away,” said Bainbridge Middle School athletic director Chad Smith. “I feel like we took the wind out of Hahira’s sails.”

The Bearcats asserted their run game in the second half, controlling the game and leading it to the final score of 40-12. Carruthers said his team was talented throughout, and everybody showed up to play in the championship game.

“Both running backs scored,” Carruthers said. “The receivers, one of them picked one for six, and the other scored the two-point play. I mean, it’s just an overall good group of kids.”

Running back X’Zabian Jackson scored two touchdowns in the game. Carruthers said Jackson has been a leader for the team this season. Carruthers also gave props to Kavion Kelly, Quinton Pearson, the lineman, and everyone else on the team. 

The win came just a day after the 8th-grade Bearcat team fell to Hahira for their region title.

“There was a little revenge factor,” Smith said. 

The Bearcats entered the title game after a 7-0 regular season. This season is the first time since 2016 that the 7th grade team was undefeated and won the region championship in the same year. 2015 was the last time the 7th grade team was 7-0.

“Probably the closest game was 28-12,” Carruthers said. “[The first team defense] only gave up three touchdowns on the season.”

Carruthers said the 8th-grade players were helpful through the season, providing leadership and experience. 

“I give a lot of credit to the 8th-grade crew,” Carruthers said. “They were leaders this year.”