The Orange Leader
LITTLE CYPRESS —
After battling Livingston to the very end and coming up just a bit short, the Little Cypress-Mauricville Battlin’ Bears will look to bounce back Friday when they play host to the Port Neches-Groves Indians in District 20-4A play at Battlin’ Bear Stadium.
Like in past seasons, the LC-M-Livingston affair was a high-scoring battle but the Bears (1-3, 0-1) came up just short on the road, falling to the Lions 42-35.
Meanwhile, the Indians (2-2, 1-0) were at home at The Reservation last Friday, edging out Lumberton 34-25 in another tight 20-4A affair.
“I think the kids will bounce back, practices have been good this week,” said LC-M coach Randy Crouch. “I thought they played really hard up in Livingston. Offensively, we moved the ball well. Defensively, we had some troubles making stops on third down. Most of all, we’re looking for some consistency. Some nights the offense plays well and sometimes the defense does well. If we can get that consistency on the same night, we’re a pretty good football team.”
The Bears and Indians have two common opponents this season in West Orange-Stark and Silsbee,
The Bears fell to WO-S 18-0 and to Silsbee 40-37 while the Indians lost to WO-S 34-13 and edged out Silsbee 21-20.
LC-M picked up 317 yards of total offense against Livingston.
Junior quarterback Caleb Harley is blossoming into a nice signal caller with his play in the last two games. Harley has completed 30-of-58 passes for 498 yards and four touchdowns and has four interceptions.
“Offensively, we’ve moved the ball pretty well the last three games,” said Crouch. “You can see that Harley is gaining more confidence each week. We’ve been able to create some big games with our passing and running game with (Alex) Sezer.”
Casey Viator has hauled in 17 receptions for 215 yards and a TD. Dalton Doyle now has 10 catches for 215 yards and two TDs after he hauled in six grabs for 159 yards and two scores against the Lions.
The Bears always have an X-factor in the form of senior tailback Sezer, who has broke the 100-yard mark in each of the last three games. Sezer has gobbled up 464 yards and seven TDs on 82 carries.
The Indians will look to attack a Bear defense that has allowed 353 yards a game.
PN-G quarterback A.J. Smith has completed 40-of-77 passes for 391 yards and four TDs with two interceptions. Backup quarterback Ky Walker has completed 16-of-33 passes for 178 yards and a TD.
“PN-G played exceptionally well against Lumberton and you can tell that they are starting to find themselves and trying to play at the top of their game,” said Crouch. “The Smith kid was tremendous last week and they got their passing attack going. The big key for us is getting those critical stops, especially on third downs, because we feel like we can move the football on offense.”
PN-G has two nice receiving threats in Tim Clopton (17-206-2) and Jeremiah Rose (18-199-1).
Spencer Wommack leads a lackluster PN-G ground game that has just 454 yards on the season with 144 yards on 49 carries.
The Bears will host another Mid-County team next week when Nederland comes to visit while the Indians visit Beaumont Central.