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By Dan Perrine
For the Record 

Bears to battle Mustangs


Last updated 8/30/2022 at 1:21pm

Da'Marion Morris had over 150 yards rushing and receiving for the Bears in their opening win against Hardin-Jefferson

Weather was a problem for the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears in Week One of the football season. The Bears played the Hardin-Jefferson Hawks in their season opener on Thursday at Beaumont which was finished on Friday in Port Arthur because of lightning and then a torrential downpour of rain that delayed the game in the first quarter.

Despite the circumstances of the lightning delay and the switching of playing fields Coach Eric Peevey said the Bears played well in the 35-0 win over the Hawks. "I felt like our offensive line and defensive line did some really great things against a team we probably should be doing those things against. That's a key the kids understanding when you're picked to win a game that's how you should play. We're starting to figure that out after a year and one week, that you never play down you always play up," Peevey expressed.

The offensive line was led by center Brady Wright and tackle Jan Nazario. Running back Da'Marion Morris had about a hundred yards rushing and close to sixty yards receiving for the Bears.

The LCM defense limited the Hawks to only about fifty yards of offense and just one net yard rushing. Peevey exclaimed, "I don't know if that's ever happened in school history. I've been coaching for a while, and I've never held even bad teams to fifty yards of total offense. That might be a school record."

Amier Washington was his normal dominating presence at defensive end as well as lining up as a noseguard on several plays. "We had some young kids defensively that played well. I think we're playing in the right situation and looking good heading into this week," Peevey analyzed.

The only bad news from last week was the MRI on two-way starter DJ Roberts' knee. Peevey announced the report showed a torn ACL. Roberts will start re-hab on the knee and hopefully will be able to play for the Bears his senior year next season.

Little Cypress-Mauriceville plays crosstown rival the West Orange-Stark Mustangs this week. The Mustangs are in the same district as Hardin-Jefferson but at opposite ends with West Orange-Stark being one of the preseason favorites to win that district.

The Mustangs use the Spread Offense. Peevey explained they really do try to spread opposing defenses out stretching them from sideline to sideline and vertically making them guard the entire field.

Junior quarterback Keyshawn Robinson does a great job of running the football and throws it when he needs to according to Peevey. Robinson is extremely quick and agile. "He's hard to get your hands on, and they've got a bevy of running backs of course starting with Jamaal Shaw who does what he does," Peevey stated.

Jailen Brown and Dustin Helm will also carry the football and run hard. Peevey pointed out, "The key looking at them is to stop the run and make them throw it, but they're still pretty good when they need to throw the ball. In a football game when you're playing a great team I don't feel you can always stop everything but you've got to do your job, and I've always felt if you stop the run you have a good chance to win games. We're going to have to try to limit their success on the ground with all their running backs and their quarterback's ability to run."

The Mustangs under new head coach Hiawatha Hickman have switched from the odd front used for decades by West Orange-Stark to more of a four-man front on defense. They will shift back into their familiar three-man front too especially on long third down situations.

As always speed and aggressiveness are the big assets of the Mustang defense. "That's the one thing West Orange-Stark on defense always has is tons of team speed, they run to the ball, and they're very violent when they get there," Peevey reminded.

Many of the same standouts on the Mustang offense are key players on the defensive side. Shaw is a cornerback used to lockdown any receiver on his side of the field. Brown at safety is very good.

The other safety Darren Anderson is very athletic and does a good job against the run. Defensive end Ruben Ceaser is very fast off the ball. Peevey evaluated, "Their secondary, their outside, and inside backers do such a good job of running to the ball which limits the big play success against them. They're just your normal typical West Orange-Stark defense that flies to the football."

Peevey believes winning the line of scrimmage on both offense and defense will be the key for LCM to pull off the victory. Peevey explained, "We're going to have to keep away from long third down situations and try to put them in as many situations like that as we can. We're going to have to tackle in space. That's one thing they do a good job of is getting their athletes out in space and breaking those one-on-one tackles and turning them into big runs. We're definitely going to have win on the line of scrimmage and try to limit their success outside by tackling in space."

The Orange Bowl as this game has been labelled is a good rivalry for Little Cypress-Mauriceville and West Orange-Stark. The Bears have not enjoyed the success that the Mustangs have in the series that dates back to the 1980s.

The contest between the Bears and the Mustangs will not determine playoff positioning for either team it is a non-district game, but it does hold significance. "I think the biggest key for us is to play a team with this kind of speed. This gets us ready for teams that we're going to see later in the year and then hopefully in the playoffs. It also gives you a good chance to see where your players are. It's always important when you have a local game to play for your fans and it gets everybody out there," Peevey concluded.

The game will be played at Bridge City because of the ongoing renovations to Battlin' Bear Stadium where it was originally scheduled. The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears and the West Orange-Stark Mustangs will play Thursday night at 7:00 in Larry Ward Stadium.


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