Gunnell, Panthers pass by Battlin’ Bears
Published 11:20 pm Friday, September 30, 2016
HOUSTON — Running into one of the most powerful offensive juggernauts in the state Friday night, the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Battlin’ Bears fell to TAPPS power Houston St. Pius 62-24.
St. Pius’ 6-6 sophomore quarterback Grant Gunnell was as good as advertised as he completed 25-of-35 passes for 496 yards and seven touchdowns and ran for two more.
Gunnell has now passed for 2,510 yards and 36 TDs in six games.
The Panthers (6-0) piled up 649 yards of total offense while the Bears (2-3) had just 191.
St. Pius receivers had a big night as ıryson Jackson hauled in seven passes for 187 yards. Forest Mclaurin had four catches for 129 yards and Jacob Jefferson grabbed four for 92. St. Pius back Justin Hull had eight catches for 67 yards and rushed for 60 yards on 10 carries.
LC-M quarterback Beau Bickham completed 11-of-24 passes for 97 yards and was picked off four times.
Bear running back Chris Winters had 75 yards on 15 carries and had a pair of TDs.
The Bears went up 8-0 early, only to see the Panthers score 34 in the first half. The Bears answered with nine points before the half to trail 34-17 at intermission. Gunnell threw for 265 yards and four touchdowns in the first half.
Bickham saw four of his passes picked off in the first half.
LC-M got a big pick of Gunnell on the first series of the game. Katon Brown picked Gunnell off at the LC-M 28 and returned it all the way back to the Panther 43.
The Bears scored seven plays later.
Bickham had big passes of 14 yards to Ronald Guillory and 15 more to Brown.
Chris Winters capped it with a seven-yard touchdown dart around the right side. The Bears went for two and got it when Bickham found Brown in the back of the end zone to make it 8-0 with 7:12 left in the first quarter.
The Panthers responded with a eight-play, 82-yard scoring march.
Gunnell passed for 48 yards on the series and ran for 21 more. The big play came on third-and-10 from the Bear 30 when Gunnell hit receiver Foster Mclaurin for a 20-yard gain.
Gunnell capped it with a 10-yard jaunt up the middle as the Panthers cut it to 8-7 with 4:54 in the first.
The Bears turned it over on their next series when Bickham was picked off by linebacker Bruno Forestieri at the Bear 41 and he returned it to the LC-M 5. Two plays later Gunnell found back Justin Hull for a five-yard touchdown pass as the Panthers snagged a 14-8 edge with 4:14 in the first.
A Bickham pass was picked off again, this time by defensive back Ricky Lester.
The Panthers promptly went 54 yards in six plays. Gunnell had a deep 37-yard completion to receiver Jacob Jefferson that went to the Bear 9. On the next play, Gunnell hit a wide open Jefferson along the left side and he went in nine yards untouched to the end zone on the first play of the second quarter.
After Bickham was picked off for the third time, the Panthers navigated 57 yards in five plays to find the end zone again.
Gunnell connected with receiver Bryson Jackson on a big 24-yard pass play that got to the Bear 9 on a third-and-12 play. Two plays later Gunnell and Hull teamed up on a five-yard shovel pass for a touchdown to give the Panthers a 28-8 edge with 7:40 in the half.
The Panthers came up with a huge play when Gunnell hit Jackson on a perfectly executed screen and Jackson did the rest, going down the left sideline for a 70-yard score with 4:38 in the half to make it 34-8.
The Bears snagged two points late in the half when the Panther punter stepped out of bounds in the back of the end zone on a punt to make it 34-10.
LC-M was not done when Dameon Morris broke through the Pius special teams on the ensuing kickoff as he went 70 yards for the touchdown return. John Gonzalez booted the extra-point as the Bears trailed 34-17 with 1:04 in the half.
The Panthers outgained the Bears 298-101 in the first half as Gunnell was 16-of-24 for 265 yards and tossed four TDs. Jackson had three catches for 108 yards. Jefferson had three grabs for 65 yards and Hull caught seven for 46 yards and two scores.
Bickham was 8-of-16 for 68 yards in the half. Brown had three catches for 25 yards while Guillory had three for 30.
The Panthers went up 41-17 early in the third after marching 70 yards in eight plays. The crucial play for St. Pius came on fourth-and-8 from the Bear 38 when Gunnell connected with Jackson on a 27-yard strike to the 8. Two plays later Gunnell scored from three yards out.
LC-M came back with a great drive of its on, zipping 57 yards in six plays.
Bickham had a big 17-yard strike to Guillory on the drive. Winters carried four times for 41 yards on the drive and capped it off with a 13-yard dart on a sweep around the right to trim the gap to 41-24 midway through the third.
After the Bears failed to capitalize on a Panther fumble, St. Pius zipped 78 yards in just six plays and was finalized when Gunnell hit Jefferson, who was wide open over the middle on a post route, for a 27-yard touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Gunnell capped off a five-play, 81-yard drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Jackson to up it to 55-24.
The Panthers got on the board again when Gunnell hit Mclaurin over the middle of the field and the swift receiver turned it into a 80-yard touchdown pass.
The Bears will open up District 10-4A Division I play next week when they visit Silsbee to take on the Tigers.
St. Pius 62,
LC-M 8 9 7 0 — 24
Pius 14 20 7 21 — 62
LC-M: Chris Winters 7 run.Katon Brown pass from Beau Bickham.
Pius: Grant Gunnell 10 run. Kick good. Conner Spillier kick.
Pius: Justin Hull 5 pass from Gunnell. Spiller kick.
Pius: Jacob Jefferson 9 pass from Gunnell. Spiller kick.
Pius: Hull 7 pass from Gunnell.Spiller kick.
Pius: Bryson Jackson 70 pass from Gunnell. Kick failed.
LC-M: Pius punter steps out of end zone.
LC-M: Dameon Morris 70 kickoff return.John Gonzalez kick.
Pius: Gunnell 3 run. Spiller kick.
LC-M: Winters 13 run. Gonzalez kick.
Pius: Jefferson 27 pass from Gunnell. Spiller kick.
Pius: Jackson 14 pass from Gunnell. Spiller kick.
Pius: Foster Mclaurin 80 pass from Gunnell. Spiller kick.
First downs 12 24
Rushes-yards 30-94 23-153
Passing 97 496
Comp-Att-Int 11-24-4 25-35-1
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-1
Penalties-yards 5-55 11-100
Rushing: LC-M, Chris Winters 15-75, Ronald Guillory 1-10, J’Lon Douglas 7-7, Dameon Morris 2-2, Beau Bickham 5-0; Pius, Justin Hull 10-60, Grant Gunnell, 8-39, Forest Mclaurin 1-25, Jarvis Johnson 2-19, Perry Carter 1-13, Will Gunnell 1-(-3).
Passing: LC-M, Beau Bickham 11-24-4 97; Pius, Grant Gunnell, 25-35-1 496
Receiving: LC-M, Ronald Guillory 4-47, Katon Brown 3-25, Dameon Morris 2-13, C˙ris Winters 2-12; Pius, Justin Hull 8-67,Bryson Jackson 7-187, Forest Mclaurin 4-129, Jacob Jefferson 4-92, Dylan Johnson 1-15, Bruno Forestieri 1-7