Derrick Craine ran for 212 yards and scored all three Wolverine touchdowns, and Union Grove held off the Bearcats inside the 10 in the game’s final minute to move on in the playoffs.
Bainbridge fumbled near midfield on the game’s opening possession, and from there Union Grove assembled a nine-play drive to get the ball into the end zone. Craine scored from 17 yards out to give the Wolverines the early lead.
The Bearcats’ Cameron McDowell intercepted a long pass at the 50 and returned it all the way to the Union Grove 14. Seven plays later, quarterback McDowell scored on a 1-yard keeper to even the game in the first minute of the second quarter.
Charles Valentine returned the ensuing kickoff 70 yards to the Bainbridge 27 but the Wolverines could not capitalize on that drive or another before halftime inside the 30. The Bearcats started their last two first-half drives inside their own 5, although the second one came after another interception that stopped a Union Grove threat.
Bainbridge held Union Grove on the first possession of the second half to force a punt, and McDowell raced 59 yards on second down to the Wolverines’ 3. After the next play lost a yard, Terry Lewis’ 4-yard touchdown run put the Bearcats up 14-7.
The teams exchanged punts, and Union Grove took over at its own 16 and amassed a 16-play drive, with Craine running 10 of those plays, including the 4-yard touchdown with 9:11 to go in the fourth quarter. The key play of the drive was a fourth-down pass from the Bainbridge 24 that drew an interference call, keeping the Wolverines alive. But the Bearcats partially blocked the extra point attempt and clung to a one-point lead.
After B.J. Cheatem returned the kickoff almost to midfield, Lewis broke free on second down and ran to the Wolverines’ 25 but an illegal block brought the ball back and put the Bearcats in a second-and-19 hole. Two plays later a fumbled snap was recovered by Valentine to give Union Grove the ball on the Bainbridge 36.
Craine scored on a 26-yard run that put him over 200 yards on the night. He finished the game with 37 carries. Eric Forrest then connected with Terry Gibbs for the two-point conversion and the Wolverines led by 7 with 6:54 left.
The Bearcats had one shot left with a first-and-goal on the Union Grove 8 and 24 seconds to play. But four straight passes into the end zone fell incomplete, and the Wolverines came away with the win.