The Orange Leader
LITTLE CYPRESS —
With three weeks off, the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Battlin’ Bears showed little rust when they held off the Livingston Lions 28-21 in their District 20-4A opener last week.
Now the Bears (1-2, 1-0) turn their focus on a much-improved Port Neches-Groves squad at The Reservation Friday night.
The Indians (3-1, 1-0) check in on a roll after they throttled Lumberton 45-0 in their 20-4A opener last week.
The Bears certainly used plenty of balance to turn back the Lions (0-3, 0-1) to get off to a good start in 20-4A play.
Coach Randy Crouch watched the offensive output reach 413 yards in the win.
Tailback Jalen Griffin is coming off a 29-carry, 150-yard performance and now has 342 yards on 66 carries through three tilts.
Quarterback Caleb Harley completed 12-of-19 passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns, both going to outstanding receiver Dalton Doyle, who now has 14 catches for 240 yards and three TDs.
“We were real happy with the way we moved the football,” said Crouch. “It was a good sign, especially with such a long layoff. It’s always good when you can start off district with a win.”
The Bears did allow 388 yards to the Lions, including 268 on the ground.
The Indians piled up 460 yards and held the Raiders to 180 in their win last week.
Quarterback Ky Walker completed 17-of-26 passes for 224 yards and three TDs while tailback Brant Halfin had 132 yards and a TD on 14 carries.
Walker has completed 65-of-97 passes for 820 yards and seven TDs with two picks. His favorite targets have been receivers Jeremiah Rose (32-409-5) and Kaleb Sparks (27-284-1).
Halfin now has 512 yards and seven TDs on 99 carries.
“The Indians are the most improved team in the area this year,” said Crouch. “They have some amazing athletes, especially on offense. They mix things up well and are very balanced. It’s always tough going over to The Reservation. It’s always a great environment over there so it’s definitely going to be a challenge for us.”
The Bears shredded the Indians 35-6 at Battlin’ Bear Stadium a year ago, limiting PN-G to just 191 total yards. LC-M gobbled up 424 yards in the victory. Harley was 8-for-10 for 183 yards and three TDs, two going to Doyle for 52 and 55 yards. Bear tailback Alex Sezer, now at Texas A&M, had 217 yards on 23 carries.
The Bears will make their second trek in a row to Mid-County next week when they will face the Nederland Bulldogs while the Indians welcome in Beaumont Central.