Bears to welcome Lions for Homecoming

Published 9:01 am Wednesday, October 23, 2019

LITTLE CYPRESS – With just three games remaining, the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Battlin’ Bears are on a quest to try to earn their first district crown since 1994 and they will look to take care of business Friday night when they welcome in the Livingston Lions for Homecoming in District 11-4A Division I play.

The Bears (4-2, 2-0) picked up a huge win on the road last Friday, taking down the Splendora Wildcats 34-27. The Wildcats were district champions last season but the Bears grabbed control early in that game and came home with the important victory.

The Lions (2-4, 0-2) have improved leaps and bounds this season under second-year long-time veteran coach Finis Vanover but are still seeking their first 11-4A victory.

The Lions suffered back-to-back 0-10 seasons but have snagged a couple nice wins this season.

Livingston defeated Shepherd 32-28 in their season opener and also blanked Huntington 36-0 in non-district play.

The Lions had non-district losses to Orangefield (20-14) and to Liberty (48-7). They dropped their 11-4A opener to Splendora 48-15 and lost to Lumberton 21-9 last week.

The Lions are sparked by the legs and feet of quarterback Damien Ruiz, who has shown some nice speed in breaking off some long runs this year.

Livingston has a pair of nice backs Debrian Rains and Keon Perkins with Cody Dupas also seeing some touches.

Ruiz has nice options at receiver in Julian Gardner and Chris Washington and a nice tight end in Jaylen Harrell.

The Lions defense will try to slow down a very balanced LC-M spread offense, sparked by senior standout quarterback Ethan McCollum.

McCollum passed for 138 yards and ran for 83 more in the Bears’ win over Splendora. He has passed for 844 yards this season and has rushed for 548 more.

He has a strong group of receivers to get the leather too in D.J. Williams, Brendon Pollock and D.J. Spears. Williams had eight catches for 91 yards last week while Pollock hauled in a touchdown pass.

Tailback Landon Bearden always provides an added dimension and he had 52 yards on the ground against Splendora.

The Lions defense, sparked by defensive end Craig Martin and linebackers Dupas and Harrell, will look to try and slow down the Bear offense.

The Bear defense has played well, especially in the first two district games against Bridge City and Splendora.

They have took advantage of turnovers including two big ones last week after a 60-yard interception return for a touchdown by Williams and a 51-yard interception return by Carson Peet.

Last season, the Bears went on the road and strolled out of Livingston with a 21-0 victory.

The Bears will have another huge home game next week when they welcome in the Huffman Falcons (7-0, 2-0) while Livingston will host Bridge City (1-5, 0-2).