The Bainbridge Bearcat football team defeated the Stockbridge Tigers 20-19 Friday night to advance to the State Championship Game for the first time since winning the school’s only state title in 1982.
Coach Jeff Littleton’s Bearcat team found themselves trailing 13-0 with just over 6 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter before staging a comeback for the ages. After scoring two touchdowns within two minutes of game time, the Cats led 14-13 but gave up a long drive that ended in a touchdown for Stockbridge. Trailing 19-13 with 1:56 left in the game, Sophomore Caleb McDowell took the ensuing kickoff back for a touchdown and the lead. The two point conversion pass was incomplete and the Cats’ defense was tasked with defending the field one more time, leading 20-19.
Stockbridge drove into Bearcat territory, but a fourth down pass with 18 seconds left was incomplete. After the turnover on downs, the Bainbridge faithful cheered as the seconds ticked off the clock. The Bearcats (9-5) will play region rival Warner Robins (12-2) for the State Championship Tuesday, December 11 at 4:30 p.m. This is a rematch for the region foes – in game one, Warner Robins defeated Bainbridge 38-0 back on October 19th.
This year’s state championship games will be played mid week after the Atlanta United Soccer Team advanced to the MLS Cup and will host the soccer championship at their home stadium (Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta) on Saturday, December 8.