Bears, Rattlers to battle for 10-4A crown

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, November 8, 2017

LITTLE CYPRESS — For the first time since 1994, the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Battlin’ Bears can claim at least a part of a district title.

Only the Navasota Rattlers stand in the way for the Bears to accomplish that feat when they come calling to Battlin’ Bear Stadium Friday night in District 10-4A Division I action.

LC-M (4-3, 3-1) is currently in a three-way tie for first-place in 10-4A with both Navasota (5-4, 3-1) and Silsbee (4-4, 3-1) as the regular season comes to an end this week.

Silsbee will take on Cleveland (3-5, 1-3).

LC-M could be the top-seed in the playoffs out of 10-4A if it beats Navasota, no matter if Silsbee beats Cleveland or not due to the Bears big 58-38 win over Silsbee to start 10-4A play.

If Navasota and Silsbee each win Friday the Bears would be the No. 3 seed in the postseason.

LC-M notched a vital 32-27 road victory at Cleveland last week as the Bears raced out to a 26-7 edge and held off a late Indian rally.

Bear tailback Chris Winters scored on touchdown runs of 34 and 35 and Dameon Morris added a pair of rushing scores as LC-M put up 291 yards on the ground.

Winters now has over 600 yards on the ground for the season.

Bear quarterback Ethan McCollum has passed for 850 yards and has rushed for 600 more as LC-M has gobbled up 430.5 yards per game in four 10-4A encounters for Coach Randy Crouch and Co.

LC-M has been stingy of late on defense, allowing just 236.5 yards a game the last two weeks.

The Rattlers, who nabbed two state championships in 2012 and 2014, have bounced back nicely this year for second-year coach Patrick Goodman. Navasota was 2-9 last season but have gotten it back together in the 2017 campaign.

The Rattlers got off to a rocky 2-3 start in non-district play but have won three of their last four.

The Rattlers have outscored opponents 313-186 for the season and 145-58 in 10-4A play.

Navasota’s only hiccup in 10-4A was a 39-34 home loss to Silsbee.

The Rattlers put together a 33-6 domination of Bridge City at home last week.

Standout quarterback Jeb Malek burned the Cardinals throughout the night as passed for three scores and ran for two.
Malek has two go-to receivers in the forms of Ronnie Jackson and Lawson Hughlett.

Both teams have punched their playoff tickets as they will be in a final tuneup for the postseason.

Both will face teams from District 9-4A Division I.

Those standings right now include state-ranked No. 1 Carthage (9-0, 5-0), Henderson (7-2, 3-2), Kilgore (6-3, 3-2), Center (3-7, 3-3), Palestine (4-5, 2-3), Bullard (3-6, 2-3) and Tyler Chapel Hill (3-6, 0-5).