LITTLE CYPRESS —
One of Little Cypress-Mauriceville’s tallest tasks will be Friday night when the Battlin’ Bears welcome in the eighth-ranked Nederland Bulldogs for a critical District 20-4A tussle.
The Bulldogs (4-1, 2-0), led by long-time head coach Larry Neumann, enter the game with a 13-game 20-4A win streak and are on a quest to defend their 20-4A title.
The Bears (2-3, 1-1), however, might have something to say about that.
You see, Coach Randy Crouch’s Bears have notched two big wins at home and are carrying plenty of momentum into this one.
The Bears certainly have some things going for them. They’ve already defeated a ranked team (Class 3A Coldspring 35-20) and have already defeated one Mid-County team already (Port Neches-Groves 35-6 last week).
The Bulldogs are alone in first-place after two games after getting a big 20-13 road win at Vidor and then defeating Livingston 23-7 at home last week. The Bears’ lone 20-4A loss was at the hands of Livingston 42-35.
The Bulldogs use a balanced offense and a huge but speedy defense to turn back opponents.
“As usual, the Bulldogs have plenty of bark,” said Crouch. “They have the complete package on both sides of the ball. They mix the run and the pass well and they have offensive and defensive line, especially the defensive line, that can block out the sun. They are huge and very physical.”
Bulldog quarterback Carson Raines has completed 47-of-89 passes for 646 yards and eight touchdowns and has five interceptions. He has two nice receiver targets to work with in Seth Barrow (15-204-3) and Michael Shaw (13-190-4).
“The Raines kid is very sharp back there and has plenty of experience playing in big games, including the playoffs,” said Crouch. “They really execute their offense well and really mix it up.”
Tailback Kendrick Hopkins has been on fire of late as well, rushing for 590 yards and a TD on 95 carries. He had 200 yards and a TD on 29 carries in the win against Livingston. Raines has 94 yards on the ground on 39 carries but does have five TDs. Hopkins will look to attack a Bear defense that has allowed 235.8 yards a game on the ground.