Bears nab crucial road win over Raiders, 33-31

Published 11:22 pm Friday, October 22, 2021

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By Keagan Smith

Orange Leader

LUMBERTON – The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears nailed down a crucial District 10-4A Division I road victory Friday night as they nipped the Lumberton Raiders 33-31.

It was a nice bounce-back victory for the Bears (6-2, 2-1) after a tough loss to Vidor last week but it was quite a battle with the Raiders (5-3, 2-1) Friday.

The Bears began the game with excellent field position. Carson Peet returned the opening kickoff 47 yards to the Lumberton 38. On the third play from scrimmage, quarterback Ashton Landry fired a pass to Keaton Rives for a 28-yard touchdown. After a missed PAT, LC-M took an early 6-0 lead.

The Raiders’ first drive lasted 16 plays, marching downfield from their own 36. Sophomore QB Lucas Powell found Trey Kersh with a 15-yard touchdown pass. The PAT went through, and Lumberton went ahead 7-6.

Halfway through the first quarter, the Bears took over at their own 43. After a couple of plays, a costly targeting penalty against the Raiders advanced the ball into the red zone. De’Marion Morris later punched in a 1-yard touchdown rush and the Bears retook the lead, 13-7.

Four minutes into the second quarter, LC-M went three-and-out near their own 20. On the 4th down punt, a bad snap soared over the punter’s head. He would run into the end zone to recover but still attempted to boot it with a Lumberton defender in his face. The punt was tipped and fell back into the end zone where Keith Olexa would catch it for a Raiders touchdown. The bizarre play allowed Lumberton to push back ahead, 14-13.

LC-M received the ball again, but Landry was intercepted by Robert Janda. However, the Raiders offense would also turn the ball over after just two plays when Morris intercepted an errant pass for the Bears.

After the turnover, Landry broke free for a 45-yard rush to Lumberton’s 9. Dwight Davis found the end zone on a 9-yard touchdown rush. A two-point attempt was no good, but the scoreboard read 19-14 in LCM’s favor.

Lumberton’s offense took over with 2:30 remaining until halftime. The Raiders moved the ball all the way to the LC-M 9 but had to settle for a 25-yard field goal. At the half, LCM remained in the lead 19-17.

The shootout continued in the second half. Lumberton scored on their opening drive of the third quarter when Brady Fuselier hauled in a 40-yard touchdown reception. The Raiders surged ahead 24-19.

The Bears offense returned the favor, needing just four plays to find the end zone again. Landry showed his rushing ability again with a 15-yard scramble for a score. LCM converted the extra point, moving back into the lead 26-24.

Lumberton returned the kickoff to their own 36 and pushed the ball across the 50. As the Raiders approached the red zone, Amier Washington came up with a huge sack for the Bears. The loss of eight yards forced the Raiders to go for it on fourth down and they failed to convert, giving LCM possession with three minutes left in the third quarter.

Landry connected with Davis on a 33-yard reception into the red zone. Landry then threw a 13-yard pass to Morris, who scored his second touchdown of the evening. The Bears extended their lead to 33-24, their largest of the night.

Little Cypress-Mauriceville’s defense forced their second turnover of the night when Davis intercepted a pass. The Bears didn’t score off the turnover, but the extra possession ran crucial time off the game clock.

With a little over three minutes left in the fourth quarter, Lumberton’s offense led a 14-play drive downfield. Powell tossed a 16-yard touchdown pass to Trey Kersh, and the Raiders brought the game within one score.

With the pressure on, the Bears kept their offense moving. LC-M rushed six times and ended the game with a QB kneel to secure the victory.

The Bears return home next Friday when they welcome in the Livingston Lions while the Raiders remain at home to face Splendora.