Bears outlast Cardinals in 10-4A nailbiter

Published 11:57 pm Friday, October 20, 2017

By Caleb Adams

Leader Correspondent

BRIDGE CITY — The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Battlin’ Bears toppled the Bridge City Cardinals 47-41 in a thrilling District 10-4A Division I battle at Larry Ward Stadium Friday night to run their record to a perfect 2-0 to stand alone at the top of the standings after the first two weeks of district play.

LC-M quarterback Ethan McCollum carried the team on offense and lead the Bears to a big district win on the road. McCollum rushed for 180 yards and three touchdowns and also had 118 through the air and another TD as the Bears (3-2, 2-0) held off the Cardinals (1-4, 1-1) in a barnburner.

The Bears finished with 399 yards of offense, 273 on the ground and 118 in the air. The Cardinals amassed 471 total yards, 426 via their bruising running game.

LC-M back Chris Winters had 93 yards and two TDs on eight carries while receiver Mark Netherly had two catches for 75 yards.

Back Rylan Ply had his best game ever in a Cardinal uniform, rushing for 129 yards on 16 carries. Fullback Andy Lara had 124 yards on 12 carries while Logan Hamm had 82 yards and three TDs on 17 totes.

The Cardinals had trouble piecing together a fourth quarter drive to win, one reason for this is the amount of players from the backfield hurt for Bridge City this game. Max Baker, who had six carries for 54 yards and a TD and Lara were knocked out of the game due to injury and were hard to replace because of their explosive play style. The Cardinals had a few running backs step up, but it just wasn’t enough to thwart the big plays of the Bears.

The Bears struck first with a long 77-yard run by McCollum. The offensive line opened up a hole and he never turned back. After the PAT the Bears were up 7-0 with 10:55 left in the first quarter.

The Cardinals answered right back with a run attack to score. Between Lara and Baker, the Cardinal offense marched 73 yards on the ground. Baker had a 28-yard scamper to score for the Cards, but the PAT was no good as the Cardinals trailed 7-6 with 5:37 left on the clock in the first quarter.

The Cardinals stopped the Bears and took the lead with another touchdown thanks to the running game. Logan Hamm rushed for 21 yards on four runs on the march, including a one-yard touchdown to cap off the drive. The Cards would go for two and fall short making the score 12-6 with 0:53 in the first quarter left.

The Bears returned the favor with another touchdown of their own. Quarterback McCollum took control on the drive with a 36-yard touchdown gallop. After the PAT, LCM went up 14-12 with 11:11 left in the second quarter.

The Cardinals retook the lead again with a touchdown, this time quarterback Caleb Dubois punched it in with a quarterback sneak from the one-yard line after he completed a big 33-yard pass to Baker on the drive. Bridge City converted the two-point conversion with a pass from Dubois to Kelton Brooks as the Cardinals took the lead with six minutes in the half left.

Like a boxing match, the Bears swung back with another score to go up by one with two minutes in the half. McCollum would produce a lot of the yards for the drive on the ground and completed a pair of nice passes to receivers Mark Netherly and Katon Brown. Winters would drive it in for the score from the nine-yard line to give the Bears a 21-20 edge.

As the clock came to a close for the half Bridge City would find success with running back Ply who had 51 yards on four rushes on the final push of the half. Logan Hamm would punch in the score in from three yards out for the Cardinals. The two point conversion was no good but the Cardinals were up 26-21 with 0:12 seconds in the half left.

Bridge City stunned the Bears early in the third when Lara zipped through the LC-M defense for a 56-yard touchdown scamper. Lara also ran in the two-point conversion to put the Cards up 33-21.

After LC-M botched a kickoff and lost a fumble, Bridge City also fumbled the very next play and Mark Netherly recovered and returns it for a touchdown from 76 yards out. After the PAT was good the Bears pull the game within striking distance again, trailing 33-28.

The Bears were able to snare the lead again with a short four-play drive featuring McCollum the whole way. McCollum would find Netherly for a long 66-yard touchdown bomb After the PAT went through the Bears went up 35-33 with 7:19 left in the third quarter.

Per usual, the Cardinals responded with more points as both defenses were having their struggles Hamm would punch in a touchdown from four yards out, after Lara set it up with a long 23-yard run. Hamm would convert the two-point conversion making the score 41-35 Cardinals.

McCollum continued to carry the load for LC-M as he cut through the Cardinal defense like butter for a 66-yard touchdown on the first play of the next drive. After the PAT was blocked the score was tied at 41-41 late in the third quarter.

The Bears scored with five minutes left on the clock in the game. McCollum, again with all the yards on the drive, including the 16 yard touchdown run to put LCM up. He had a big 18-yard pass to receiver Dameon Morris as well on the march. The two point conversion was no good but the Bears grabbed the 47-41 lead.

The Bears would hang on to win with a strong defensive stop in the final seconds of the game.

The Bears find themselves in good shape as they will host Huffman (2-4, 0-2) next week while the defending 10-4A champion Cardinals will look to rebound when they visit Silsbee (2-4, 1-1).


BC                              LCM

First downs         26                             13

Rushes-yards     63-426                22-273

Passing                 46                            126

Comp-Att-Int     2-2-0                    5-8-0

Fumbles-Lost       2-1                         1-1

Penalties-yards   7-40                     7-48

Individual Statistics

Rushing: BC Max Baker 5-54, Andy Lara 11-124, Logan Hamm 17-82, Caleb Dubois 7-13, Rylan Ply 16-129, Caleb Honeycutt 5-15, Marqus Abrego 2-6 ; LCM Ethan Mccollum 14-180, Christopher Winters 8-93

Passing: BC Caleb DuBois 2-2-0 46; LCM Ethan Mccollum 5-8-0 126

Receiving: BC Max Baker 1-33, Logan Hamm 1-13; LCM Katon Brown 2-33, Mark Netherly 2-75, Dameon Morris 1-13