When: Friday, September 9, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Hugh Mills Stadium
2011 records: Both teams are 2-0 overall.
Last week: Bainbridge defeated Cairo, 17-14. Westover defeated Albany, 13-7.
All-time series record: Bainbridge leads 11-6-1
First meeting: Westover 33, Bainbridge 12 (1969)
Last meeting: Bainbridge 35, Westover 7 (2010)
The Westover High School Patriots will try to start a season 3-0 for the first time in eight years, as they battle the Bainbridge Bearcats in the Patriots’ true home game Friday night.
The last time a Westover football squad started a season at 3-0 came in 2003, when the Patriots began that campaign reeling off four straight wins, only to struggle down the stretch en route to an overall record of 5-6. They lost to Peach County, 42-9, in the first round of the GHSA Class AAA state playoffs.
Despite winning their only state championship, a GHSA Class AAA crown in 1982, the Bearcats have struggled to stay among Georgia’s elite programs, as they enter this week’s game with an all-time record of 312-388-20 ties dating back to the 1948 season. Head Coach Ed Pilcher has a career record of 228-87-1 two games into his fourth season at Bainbridge, including five state titles in a six-year season with Thomas County Central (1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997), but is 17-16 at the Bearcats helm so far.
Westover has had one signature win so far this season, crushing the defending GHSA Region 1-A champion Mitchell County Eagles on the road, 42-7, in the Patriots season opener on Aug. 26. Last weekend, however, the Patriots held off Albany in a low-scoring contest between the two City of Albany/Dougherty County rivals; Albany was the home team in the contest at Hugh Mills Stadium.
As for Bainbridge, the GHSA Class AAAA Bearcats have won both of their games by a combined seven points. They held off Class AA Early County (whom the Patriots will pay a visit to next week), 16-12, in the season opener two weeks ago, before knocking off Class AAA powerhouse Cairo, by a field goal last week.
This week’s game between the Patriots and the Bearcats will be just the 19th meeting all time, in a series that spans more than four decades. Additionally, it’ll be the second straight meeting between the two teams after a decade hiatus. The last time Westover defeated Bainbridge was on Sept. 8, 1995; the score was 21-12.
Source: Georgia High School Football Historians Association (http://www.ghsfha.org/)