BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) - Bainbridge’s Caleb McDowell was having a pedestrian year for a football team with a losing record.
Then, his mother LaTorya Conner passed on October 29th, 2018.
With a heavy heart and help from heaven above, the 15-year-old running back turned tragedy to triumph.
McDowell scored twice in Bainridge's 3 overtime state championship win over Warner Robins.
One was a rushing touchdown, the other was on a halfback pass.
Neither was a surprise when you consider how hot the sophomore running back was when he entered Mercedes-Benz Stadium last week.
Through Bainbridge's first 9 games this year, McDowell reached the end zone only 4 times.
Bainbridge went just 4-5.
After his mother's passing, McDowell began dedicating every game to her.
“I know she’s always in my heart. She fights for us and my brothers too every time we step out on the field,” said Caleb following the 47-41 win over Warner Robins.
"They tell me, we know who we do it for. That’s why every time we make a big play we point to the sky. The angel always trumps the demon. "
The final 6 games, McDowell scored 13 times en route to a Bainbridge 5A State championship.
It ended a title drought that lasted 36 years, a title drought that lasted about a year longer than his mother’s life.
“The team really rallied around him and his loss and everybody came together for it,” said head football coach Jeff Littleon.
McDowell finished his sophomore campaign with 16 total touchdowns and 964 yards rushing.