LC-M-OF game a Classic and other thoughts

Published 10:53 am Monday, September 19, 2016

It’s Monday morning, and I still have to remind myself that last Friday night’s game at Little Cypress-Mauriceville was just a non-district game between the Battlin’ Bears and Orangefield Bobcats.

However, it will go down as one of the best games I‘ve ever had the pleasure of covering.

The Bears, of course everyone knows by now, won 43-42 in overtime, but the game itself was what Texas high school football is all about.

Big plays were made by both teams on both sides of the ball.

The Bears have went back to the spread formation on offense, and it has paid dividends the last couple weeks.

Quarterback Beau Bickham had his best game ever in a Bear uniform and watch out District 10-4A Division I foes, LC-M has found a “gem” in receiver Katon Brown. Brown, a basketball standout, was talked into playing football again two weeks ago and caught seven passes for 161 yards and three scores against the Bobcats.

LC-M controlled the game for nearly three quarters and led 28-14 with less than two minutes left n the third.

However, the Bobcats never backed down, despite fighting the injury bug throughout the night. Orangefield kept battling back and battling with their pounding running game and eventually took the lead n overtime 42-35.

The Bobcats were just one play away from sealing a great comeback until Bickham completed a 11-yard pass to back Chris Winters on fourth-and-6 that got to the Bobcat 10. On the next play, Winters scooted in from 10 yards out for the score.

The rest is history, when LC-M coach Randy Crouch elected to go for the win and Winters got it done with a two-point conversion run.

The game was thrilling n so many ways. From big plays, to big returns and even a perfectly-executed two-point conversion pass for the Bobcats that tied it up near the end of regulation.

It was a big win for the Bears but it is hard to call it a loss for Coach Josh Smalley and his Bobcats because both teams put it all on the line and there were some tired “puppies” to say the least when all was said and done.

No doubt, both squads will look to make a playoff push in their respective district. Thanks for a tremendous game, one to always remember for sure.

* * *

Received a call this weekend from another sports journalist from a media outlet, let’s just say that is a little north of us.

He had an absurd question?

It was, “What is the deal with the West Orange-Stark offense and what’s up with Jack Dallas’ low numbers?”

I almost choked on the hot fries I was eating.

Sure, the Mustangs are churning out “only” 337.3 yards a game. How many schools across the state would love to just sniff around that kind of number.

Dallas’ numbers do look economical. 31-of-53 for 413 yards with five TDs and just one pick.

That’s what happens when you usually get the ball at the opposing 40 or under nearly every time and when you stop throwing the ball or playing at all after intermission.

That’s what happens when you have outscored four opponents 203-0.

The Mustangs are allowing a mere 71 yards a game. Opponents have just 179 yards rushing on 150 carries, averaging 1.2 yards per tote.

Just four games in and a long way to go, but this year’s version of the Chain Gang defense reminds me a lot of the 1987 state champion defense along with the 200 unit that made the state title game.

Silly question dude, got any more!

The Bridge City Cardinals will look to get healthy as the Redbirds will not suit out on a Friday night again until Oct. 7 when they welcome the Cleveland Indians to Ward Stadium for Homecoming and the start of District 10-4A Division I play.

The Cardinals had a game scheduled in College Station for Sept. 30 against 3A power Brock until Brock pulled out of that contest during the summer.

The Cardinals 2-2) have had back-to-back tough outings against state powers WO-S and Newton the past two weeks after scoring 112 points in two big wins to start the season.

Cleveland (2-1) has shown improvement this year. The Indians have back-to-back wins, including a come-from-behind 21-17 victory over Hempstead last week.

The biggest question for 10-4A now is what is happening in Navasota, which looked like a clear-cut favorite to win the crown before the campaign started.

The Rattlers, who captured state titles in 2012 and 2014 have started 0-4 this season behind first-year coach Patrick Goodman, have been outscored 136-62, including a 51-6 loss to Stafford last week.

So, there is no doubt, the fight for a District 10-4A Division I title should be a crapshoot between all six teams.