Bears aiming to take down Rattlers in bidistrict round

Published 8:49 am Wednesday, November 14, 2018

LITTLE CYPRESS — After putting together a superb 18-0 win over the Lumberton Raiders last week to snag the third-place playoff seed out of District 11-4A Division I, the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Battlin’ Bears will turn their focus to a former district foe in the forms of the Navasota Rattlers Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at Huffman High School in Class 4A Region III bidistrict playoff action.

The Bears will be on a quest to trying to pick up their first playoff win since 1997.

The Bears (4-6, 3-2) and Rattlers (5-5, 5-1) were just district foes the previous couple seasons until realignment shook things up last February and the Rattler skipped on over to District 12-4A.

The last time the two met was at LC-M last year when the Rattlers escaped with a 40-30 victory.

The Bears will be riding some momentum after downing the Raiders last week in what was a dominant defensive showing.

LC-M held the Raiders to just 103 total yards as Lumberton had nowhere to run or hide.

Meanwhile, the Rattlers had their bye last week after falling short to Houston Wheatley 24-21 in what was for the outright 12-4A title on Nov. 2.

The Rattlers, like the Bears, got off to a slow start during their non-district portion of the schedule, going 0-4.

By the time 12-4A play rolled around though, Navasota began clicking on all cylinders, winning five of their six district games and outscoring opponents 175-79 in the process.

The Rattlers will enter the contest balanced on offense, but average just 224.6 yards a game, 112.7 on the ground and 111.9 in the air.

Quarterback Zackery Dyer has completed just 68-of-151 passes for 1,206 yards with 15 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

His favorite targets have been La’Darrin Thomas (14-357-4), William Jackson (12-141-2) and Thomas Robinson (10-131-0).

Dyer is also the leading ground gainer with 260 yards and five TDs on 82 totes. Montarius Love (77-243-3) and D.J. Randle (49-212-3) see touches out of the backfield along with Robinson.

The Bears have certainly been utilizing the hot hand of senior quarterback Adam Pope.

Pope passed for 195 yards and two scores against Lumberton and rushed for 62 yards and a TD as well.

Pope caught fire when 11-4A play started and has tossed 12 TD passes in his last five games.

He has had plenty of solid receivers to get the ball too, including Brendon Pollock, James Williams, Darrien Williams and Seth Carpenter. Junior Ethan McCollum has recovered from a nagging injury and the former starting quarterback has produced in the receiving department, including five catches for 56 yards against the Raiders.

The Bears will look to balance things out with a running game featuring Kristian Ickes and Landon Bearden.

The winner between the Bears and Rattlers will take on either Midlothian Heritage (9-1) or Kilgore in the area round next week.