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Battlin’ Bears “D up” to blank Jasper, 13-0

LITTLE CYPRESS – Defensive fans definitely got what they wanted at Battlin’ Bear Stadium Friday night and so did the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears as they notched a 13-0 shutout of the Jasper Bulldogs in nondistrict action.

The win over Jasper (1-3) for the Bears (4-1) was LC-M’s first win over the Bulldogs since 1979 when Don Richards booted the game-winning field goal to defeat the Bulldogs, who were ranked No. 1 in the state at the time.

It was a tremendous win for the Bears, who will open up District 10-4A Division I play next week at undefeated Huffman.

The two teams combined for just 248 total yards. The field was sloppy due to the weather but both defenses had a lot to say about it as well.

The Bears finished with 126 yards while the Bulldogs had 122.

The Bears took advantage of two Bulldog miscues in the first quarter to score all 13 of their points and neither team got close to the end zone after that.

LC-M quarterback Ashton Landry completed 9-of-17 passes for 89 yards and two touchdowns, both scores going to tight end Dean Reynolds.

Landry rushed for 40 yards on 17 carries. Jasper held LC-M running back Da’Marion Morris, who went over the 100-yard mark in the first four games, to minus three yards on seven carries. Morris did have three catches for 27 yards while Reynolds had two receptions for 37 yards and the two TDs. Morris also had a big interception on Jasper’s first possession that set up the first Bear score.

LC-M had 132 yards in the first half but the Bulldog defense rose up and held the Bears to minus six yards in the second half.

The Bear defense stonewalled Jasper throughout the night as the Bulldog backfield will have nightmares about LC-M defensive end Amier Washington and rover Dwight Davis as both were in their back pockets all night with numerous tackles for losses.

Jasper had 75 yards in the first half and just 47 in the second half.

Bulldog quarterback Zikeice Simmons completed just 5-of-18 passes for 40 yards and an interception. He rushed for 48 yards on 10 carries.

The LC-M defensive front dominated the Bulldogs in the trenches. Bulldog tailbacks (Tylee Adams (15-23) and Cameron Cuney (15-11) combined for just 34 yards on 30 carries. Jasper receiver Jermario Thomas did have three catches for 33 yards.

The Bears capitalized quick and cashed on a pair of Bulldog turnovers in the first quarter and ended up taking a 13-0 lead at the half.

Da’Marion Morris picked off Simmons on the second play of the game at the Bulldog 49 with 10:50 in the first quarter.

The Bears found paydirt nine plays later. Landry rushed five times for 31 yards on the march, including back-to-back runs of 15 and 11 yards on the series. He also hit Morris on a nice 13-yard screen pass. Landry capped it when he spotted tight end Dean Reynolds on a one-yard touchdown toss over the middle of the end zone. The extra-point attempt was blocked by the Bulldogs but the Bears grabbed a 6-0 edge with 7:05 in the first quarter.

The Bulldogs were gracious to the Bear defense on the very next series as Cuney fumbled the ball at the Jasper 36 with 5:32 in the first.

Landry and Reynolds wasted no time teaming up again when Landry hit Reynolds in stride over the middle for a 36-yard touchdown dart on the very next play. Justin Rainey nailed the extra-point and the Bears led 13-0 with 5:25 still in the first quarter.

Both teams had long sustained drives in the remainder of the half but each came away with no points.

LC-M had a 12-play drive from its on 33 to the Bulldog 33 that ate up over six minutes but Jasper held as they forced Landry into an incompletion on fourth-and-10 from the Bulldog 33.

The Bulldogs then put together a 17-play drive that started at their own 33 with 8:31 in the half. Simmons kept the chains moving as he converted two first downs on fourth down, including an 11-yard pass to receiver Jermario Thomas and he broke loose for a 10-yard gain that got to the Bear 14. However, the Bear defense held firm, tackling Cuney for a six-yard loss on second down and then forced Simmons into two incompletions to end the threat.

The Bears limited Jasper to just 75 yards in the first 24 minutes. Simmons rushed for 31 yards on four carries. He completed just 2-of-7 passes for 14 yards, both going to Thomas. Adams had 17 yards on six totes while Cuney was limited to 13 yards on 10 carries.

LC-M had 132 yards in the half. Landry completed 5-of-7 passes for 73 yards and rushed for 55 yards on 11 carries. Reynolds had two catches for 37 yards and Morris had two receptions for 27 yards.