Bears shut down Raiders, 18-0

Published 11:40 pm Friday, November 9, 2018

LITTLE CYPRESS – Putting together perhaps their best performance of the season Friday night at Battlin’ Bear Stadium, the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Battlin’ Bears sealed the third-place playoff berth out of District 11-4A Division I by defeating the Lumberton Raiders 18-0.

The Bears did all of their scoring in the first half on a very sloppy, muddy field and held the Raiders’ vaunted rushing attack to just 84 yards on 33 carries and held Lumberton to just 103 total yards.

LC-M senior quarterback Adam Pope had a solid all-around game, completing 21-of-38 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for another 62 yards on 14 carries. Receiver Brendon Pollock had seven receptions for 66 yards and two touchdowns. Ethan McCollum snared five catches for 56 yards while James Williams had 56 yards on five catches.

The Bears finished with 242 total yards.

The Bears (4-6, 3-2), Raiders (5-5, 3-2) and Huffman (5-5, 3-2) all tied for second-place behind 11-4A champion Splendora (9-1, 5-0). However, the Bears needed to defeat the Raiders by 11 points to secure the third seed — Mission Accomplished.

The Bears will now move on to face the Navasota Rattlers in the 4A Division I Region III bidistrict playoffs Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Huffman High School.

The Bears zipped out to a 18-0 lead at the half thanks to a big performance by Pope and his receivers.

The Bears outgained the Raiders 174-54 in the first 24 minutes.

Pope completed 13-of-22 passes in the half for 129 yards and ran for 50 yards on 10 carries.

The Bears zipped 49 yards to paydirt in seven plays on their first series of the night behind Pope’s legs.

The quarterback completed two passes for eight yards on the drive but it was his legs that sealed it.

On fourth-and-1 from the Raider 40, he bolted up the middle for a 29-yard gain to the 11. He had a nine-yard keeper to the 4 and then scored on a four-yard keeper. The extra-point kick failed but the Bears led 6-0 with 5:51 in the first quarter.

Pope engineered a superb nine-play, 63-yard scoring march right before the half, completing five passes for 55 yards.

On third-and-11 from the LC-M 36, Pope found Pollock on a 14-yard pass for a first down at the 50. He connected with McCollum for a 10-yard gain and found Pollock again for a 10-yarder that got to the Raider 28.

The Raiders were called for interference and then an offsides call as the Bears set up shop at the Raider 8. On the next play, Pope found Pollock for a eight-yard touchdown toss along the right side of the end zone to push the lead to 12-0 with 1:37 in the half.

The Bears, however, were not quite through in the half.

Bear defensive back Ken’Teon Champine picked off Boykin at the LC-M 40 and returned it to the Bear 47 with 1:25 on the clock. Champine also had a fumble recovery later in the contest.

LC-M then zipped 53 yards in five plays to find the end zone again. The big play was a 22-yard connection between Pope and McCollum that got to the Raider 23. The Raiders were called for defensive holding, moving the leather to the 13. That helped set up another Pope-to-Pollock touchdown strike, this time a 13-yard dart over the middle of the end zone to give the Bears a 20-0 edge with 0:20 in the half.

McCollum had five catches for 56 yards in the half while Pollock hauled in four receptions for 45 yards.

Ty Cruse had 34 yards on 10 carries for the Raiders in the half.

The second half got pretty sloppy as the teams exchanged turnovers deep in the Raider end.

Players had problems containing their footing as the conditions grew worse.

The Bears only gained 68 yards after intermission while the Raiders had 49.

The Bears will be trying to snag their first playoff victory since 1997 when they venture to Huffman next week.