Little Cypress-Mauriceville, Vidor district battle decided by 1 possession in overtime

Published 12:18 am Saturday, October 7, 2023

The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears claimed an exciting 34-28 victory over Vidor on Friday night in the first game of District 10-4A Division I competition.

Vidor got on the scoreboard first following a sloppy first quarter by both teams, as neither scored and both had penalty trouble.

Pirates running back Isaac Fontnow bolted 37-yards through the Bears defense for a 7-0 Vidor lead early in the second quarter.

LC-M answered right back as quarterback Dylan Payne marched the Bears offense down the field on an 8-play, 74-yard scoring drive. Payne scored on a 3-yard keeper up the middle for his first touchdown of the night to tie the game, 7-7, following the Nick Smith extra point.

The Bears defense forced Vidor to punt, and the LC-M offense went right back to work. This time the Bears needed just 3:15 of the game clock to move the ball 63 yards down the field for another Payne 3-yard touchdown to give LC-M a 14-7 lead at halftime.

The LC-M defense forced another Vidor punt and the Bears offense once again found the end zone, this time on a 30-yard drive that featured runs by Payne and running back Jonah Fuller. Payne scored his third touchdown of the night, this one from 4-yards out to extend the LC-M lead to 21-7.

The Pirates offense finally came to life and needed just four plays to get back on the scoreboard. Fontnow had the biggest run of the night for 42-yards down the right sideline to the LC-M 11-yard line.

From there fullback Riley Marlow carried the ball for six yards to the Bears 5-yard line and then he punched it in up the middle on the next play to cut the LC-M lead down to 21-14.

Vidor’s defense held the Bears offense the next possession and forced a punt, but a bad snap resulted in a recovery by the Pirates defense at the LC-M 23-yard line. Three plays later Fontnow found the end zone on a 4-yard run and the game was knotted up, 21-21 with 3:19 to play in the third quarter.

The Bears offense had its best drive of the night on the ensuing possession as LC-M chewed up 6:07 of game clock on a 50-yard drive that concluded with Payne scoring his fourth rushing touchdown of the night on a 1-yard quarterback sneak to put LC-M back on top, 28-21 with 8:35 to go in the game.

The Pirates offense did what it does best on the next possession and that is a long, time-consuming drive. The Vidor offense marched the ball 74-yards in 15 plays while eating up more than 8 minutes of the clock as quarterback Daigan Venable scored on a 1-yard plunge to tie the game at 28-28, after the Rui Correia extra point, with 26 seconds remaining.

The game went to overtime and the Vidor Pirates offense took the field first. However, the Bears defense stiffened and forced a turnover on downs to give the ball back to Payne and the offense.

On second and goal, Payne hit receiver Khayden Reed in the left flat and Reed did the rest, scoring on a 13-yard pass to give LC-M a 34-28 overtime victory.

LC-M finished with 364 yards of total offense. Fuller led the Bears ground game with 121 yards rushing, while Payne added 105 yards on the ground and 106 yards in the air.

Vidor had 269 total yards of offense, all on the ground, as Fontnow led all rushers with 145 yards rushing.

LC-M (3-3, 1-0) will host the Livingston Lions (1-5, 1-0) next Friday in another crucial District 10-4A contest with potential playoff implications, while Vidor (3-3, 0-1) returns home next week for a big matchup against defending district champs, the Lumberton Raiders (3-3, 1-0), as the Pirates celebrate homecoming.

— Written By Tommy Mann Jr.