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Bearcats come up short in season opener

The Bainbridge Bearcats traveled to Douglas Friday night for their first game of the season against the Coffee County Trojans. The Bearcats fought hard, but came up short on turnovers, losing 21-35.

“We didn’t win the turnover battle, and we didn’t win the explosive play battle,” Head Coach Jeff Littleton said in regard to the loss.

With a few offensive linemen out due to quarantine, Littleton also said a few of the younger players had to step up, but that is something he claims they all have to be prepared for this season.

“They turned the ball over five times, but we only got two of them,” he said.

The Bearcats also turned the ball over, with the Trojans recovering a fumble three minutes into the first quarter.

The fumble put the Trojans into the BHS 20-yard line, where kicker, David Vaughn went for a 32- yard field goal, scoring three points.

Neither team scored the remainder of the first quarter.

One minute into the second quarter, Trojan Antwan McDuffie made it into the Bearcats’ 20-yard line and scored a 4- yard rushing touchdown. The extra point was good, making the score 10-0.

Coffee then made a safety after a bad snap on the punt out of the endozne, upping the score to 12-0.

With two minutes left to go in the half, the Bearcats got a first down on the 34-yard line and Quarterback Bo Smith threw it  to AJ Grant for a passing touchdown. The kick by Blake Fagan was good, leaving the Bearcats trailing 7-12.

Mere seconds later the Bearcats had a pick-6 for a touchdown, when Antavious Murphy had a 54-yard interception return. The kick by Nick Tyre was good and the Bearcats now led 14-12 headed into the half.

Coming out of halftime, the Trojans were on fire.

Within three minutes, they were in the Bearcats’ 12-yard line and scored a passing touchdown, now leading 18-14.

The Trojans attempted a two-point conversion, but failed.

After failing the two-point conversion, the Bearcats punted to Coffee, where the Trojans eventually had kicker David Vaughn kick a 50-yard field goal, giving them a 21-14 lead.

Coffee County’s wide receiver Maurice Turner went on to score a 7-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter. The kick was good by Vaughn and the Bearcats now were down two touchdowns.

In the fourth quarter, Turner scored had another rushing touchdown. Vaughn made the kick and it was good. The Trojans now led 35-14.

Determined not to get down, the Bearcats’ Javon Cox then recovered a fumble by the Trojans and returned it for a touchdown. The kick was good and the Bearcats ended the game with a final score of 21-35.

“We had way too many penalties on both sides of the ball and that slowed us down and extended some drives for them,” Littleton said. “We had chances and opportunities, we just didn’t take advantage of them; that’s all just part of growing up and coming together, though.”

Littleton knows the road ahead is not easy.

“It’s not going to get any easier, we’ve got some tough opponents, so we’ve got to get to work,” he said. “it’s not going to magically happen.”

The Bearcats will now take on the Valdosta Wildcats at home next Friday at 7:30 p.m.