It's ironic that the last time Bainbridge's Damien Bouie was handing the ball off to Mike Stubbs was earlier this year in this Sept. 14 file photo when Bouie, a running back, was forced under center because of an injury to the quarterback. Bouie shined that night, leading the Bearcats to a 14-12 win, and when the same situation occurred Friday against Lee County, Bouie did it again, only this time Stubbs scored the game-winning touchdown to lift The Herald No. 2 Bearcats past No. 1 Lee County, 49-42. (File photo)
Fab 5 Poll
The Bearcats beat Lee County, 49-42, in a wild game to capture the No. 1 spot in the poll and roll into the playoffs with momentum.
Next: at Union Grove, 7:30, Friday.
2. Lee County.......(7-3)
The Trojans were No. 1 for most of the season and staged an incredible comeback before losing to Bainbridge, 49-42, last week in the game of the year.
Next: at Whitewater, 7:30 p.m., Friday.
The Patriots are the first Westover team to host a playoff game and won the city title by sweeping the three schools in Albany.
Next: vs. Jonesboro, 7:30 p.m., Friday.
The Tornadoes came on strong in the playoffs last season and hope to do the same on the road again this year when they travel to play state-ranked Griffin this week.
Next: at Griffin, 7:30 p.m., Friday.
5. Early County...(7-3)
The Bobcats survived the toughest Class AA region in Georgia that included three ranked teams and won the No. 3 seed with a win against state-ranked Cook last week.
Next: at Bleckley County, 7:30 p.m., Friday.
ALBANY — In what turned out to be the wildest, most memorable game of the year, Bainbridge, which was ranked No. 2 in the Herald Fab 5 poll, held on Friday night to withstand Lee County and beat the Trojans, 49-42, to take over the No. 1 spot in the Fab 5 Poll on the final week of the regular season in a game that felt like it took 10 weeks to play.
Even without its star running back — Dynamite Dozen tailback Terry Lewis, who gained 1,049 yards in the first nine games of the season — Bainbridge pulled out the victory. Damian Bouie had a career-night 262-yard game that included three first-half touchdown runs that helped Bainbridge build a 42-7 lead.
But Lee County — led by quarterback Stephen Collier, who threw for 386 yards and five touchdowns and also ran for a touchdown and a two-point conversion — stormed back with a 35-point run that knotted the score at 42-42. Dynamite Dozen tailback Kenneth Hurley had a monster night and was a huge part of the comeback. Hurley caught 10 passes for 212 yards, including three catch-and-run touchdowns of 50, 38 and 18 yards. He also rushed for 45 yards.
But Bainbridge running back Mike Stubbs, who hadn’t played in more than two weeks because of an ankle injury, got into the game late in the fourth quarter. Stubbs had one carry all night — it was a 33-yard touchdown run off an option pitch from Bouie that won the game.
It was an instant classic and ultimately decided this year’s No. 1 team in The Herald’s poll.
Westover, which made history at the school by becoming the first Patriots team to host a playoff game, wrapped up its 7-3 season as the No. 3 team in the poll. The Patriots won their second city title in the last three years, sweeping Monroe, Dougherty and Albany to take the city championship.
They will be at Hugh Mills Stadium on Friday, playing host to state-ranked Jonesboro in a rematch of the second game of the year.
Monroe, which started the season ranked No. 1 in the Fab 5, could have gone unbeaten but lost three games by a total of 14 points. The Tornadoes are led by Dynamite Dozen quarterback Charles Stafford, who is coming off a 300-yard night against Worth County, and proved they could win on the road in the playoffs last year. They will face a huge test when they travel to face state-ranked Griffin on Friday.
Early County also finished the regular season at 7-3 (all five teams in the Fab 5 went 7-3) and won the No. 3 seed out of the toughest Class AA region in the state by beating state-ranked Cook last week. Early lost to region rivals Brooks County and Fitzgerald, which have been ranked in the top four in the state almost all year, and fell, 14-12, to Bainbridge early in the year.
The Bobcats, led by Dynamite Dozen quarterback Jacori Taylor, will be on the road in Cochran on Friday to face No. 2 seed Bleckley County but should be the favorite in that game despite the seedings.