The Orange Leader
While the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Battlin’ Bears are looking forward to their first Class 4A playoff game for the first time since 1997, Vidor wants to close out their season with some flair as the Pirates welcome LC-M to Pirate Stadium for the District 20-4A finale for both teams.
The Bears (4-4, 4-2) are coming off a tough 42-14 loss at the hands of Beaumont Central and are currently in third-place tie in the 20-4A standings, with Port Neches-Groves (6-3, 4-2).
However a Bears’ win over the Pirates would give LC-M and coach Randy Crouch the tiebreaker edge over PN-G due to beating the Indians already.
If LC-M falls to Vidor and PN-G defeats Livingston, the Indians will be the third-place playoff seed and the Bears would be the fourth.
The team that takes third in 20-4A will face either Barbers Hill or Dayton in the 4A Division II Region III bidistrict round. The fourth-place unit will then take on Crosby.
The Pirates (4-5, 2-4) are coming off an impressive 34-14 road win at Livingston. Vidor held the Lions to just 144 yards of total offense.
Vidor, which has made the playoffs three out of the last four seasons under coach Jeff Mathews, will be giving its best shot to send its senior class out with a win.
There’s no doubt that the Bears have plenty to play for as well, even though they’re a cinch for the postseason.
LC-M has turned to a superb ground game in recent weeks that has enabled them to control the clock and action, winning four of their last six outings.
Tailback Brandon Toliver eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark last week when he ran for 165 yards and a pair of scores against Central.
Toliver now has 1004 yards and 12 touchdowns on 120 carries as the Bears are averaging 291.1 yards a game.
Jalen Griffin (106-362-3) and Robert Green (43-198-4) have produced in the running game as well.
The Bears will face a Pirate defense that has allowed 339.1 yards a contest.
LC-M quarterback Caleb Harley has completed 54-of-120 passes for 521 yards and had four TDs and five interceptions.
Dalton Doyle has hauled in 23 of those passes for 309 yards and three scores.
The Bear defense, which is allowing 306.5 yards a game, will try to contain a potent Pirate ground attack featuring running back Sage Smith.
The Pirates are chewing up 358.1 yards a game.
Smith passed the 1,400-yard mark on the season last week in the win over Livingston and has 20 TDs to his credit.
Fellow back Jeremy Stephenson has rushed for more than 400 yards and freshman Haylon Leckelt has more than 350.
The Pirates toppled the Bears 63-42 in a shootout last year as the teams almost combined for 1,000 yards. The Bears finished with 493 yards while the Pirates had 476.