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Bears hookup with the Hawks on Friday

This is the third year at Little Cypress Mauriceville for Head Coach Eric Peevey to guide the football team. The Bears are young but hopeful for their third straight trip to the post season and a possible run in the playoffs.

Little Cypress Mauriceville split its two preseason scrimmages in August. The Bears outscored the Orangefield Bobcats in the opening scrimmage and lost 20-14 to the big and physical Port Neches-Groves Indians who played in the Class 5A Division II championship game last season.

Coach Peevey commented the first scrimmage against Orangefield was to give the Bears a look at the Slot-T offense which district opponent Vidor runs. "I thought our kids played really well against the Slot-T with our Bears aligning correctly with that offense and then playing really fast on defense causing a bunch of turnovers. I felt like our defense played very good," Peevey evaluated.

Offensively, LCM did some good things against the Bobcats. Peevey pointed out, "The first series we moved the ball down the field but didn't score. After that we got four touchdowns. I felt like our kids got going and moving in the right direction. Offensively right now we don't have a returning starter at a skill position, they're all new."

Port Neches-Groves looked like a team that went to the finals the previous year during the scrimmage with the Bears. After a long drive by the Indians to open the scrimmage Peevey said the Bears could have backed down but did not and fought back. "We want to play against great teams like that. We want to play against good physical teams which the Indians are with maybe the best offensive line we'll see all year," Peevey added.

The Little Cypress Mauriceville throwing game in the Spread Offense started slowly against the Indians. Peevey added, "Our being able to move the ball on them was really good. Despite the slow start the Bears were able to complete about fourteen balls during the scrimmage."

"I felt very good with both scrimmages. I felt like we got a lot out of them. Thankfully, we didn't have any major injuries or anything like that going through the scrimmages," Peevey analyzed.

A main focus in the scrimmages was the quarterback position with Dylan Payne in his first season to be the starter on varsity. Peevey observed, "I've definitely seen some growth in him. Dylan didn't start off as well as we wanted him to against Port Neches-Groves the first couple of series, but then he picked it up. Dylan is going to get to do some things this week he hasn't got to do in the scrimmages and use his strength to run the ball which we will see this week."

Two other young Bears that stood out in the scrimmages were Khayden Reed at wide receiver and J'Lynn Morris at running back. They both showed potential for big plays that Peevey was excited to see.

The season opener for Little Cypress Mauriceville will be at Sour Lake against the Hardin-Jefferson Hawks. Under Head Coach Zach Bass the Hawks changed their offense from the Slot-T to the Spread a year ago.

The Hawks like to throw to their tight ends as they did last season. In their second year under Coach Bass the Hawks have a better understanding of his system.

"Their offense really hasn't changed in the last year. The Hawks are a wide zone team with a lot of bootlegs, and they will throw the ball deep against opposing defenses," Peevey described.

The leader for Hardin-Jefferson on offense is Wyatt Samaha at tight end. Samaha is a big time target for the Hawks catching four or five receptions in the first scrimmage, but did not play in the second scrimmage for the Hawks. Peevey is not sure the reason why Samaha was a non-entity in that scrimmage but knows he is a player the Bears much keep track of in Week 1.

Peevey believes, "They are definitely looking to get Samaha the ball and we've got to try to limit him as much as we can. I would suspect the Hawks to even have goal line package plays to have him at quarterback to just let him catch the snap and running it. We're going to be prepared for all of it because Samaha is a division one athlete."

Hardin-Jefferson appears to base out of a 3-3 Stack on defense and will also get into a 6-2 front. The Hawks are very aggressive coming to get opposing backs in behind the line of scrimmage using extensive blitzes by shooting the gaps and they are going to bring everybody on every play according to Coach Peevey.

The Hawks used non-game day jerseys during their scrimmages. This made it difficult for the Little Cypress Mauriceville coaches that scouted the scrimmages for Hardin-Jefferson to determine who was actually playing for the Hawks.

A key defensive player returning for the Hawks is linebacker Davion Lavine who had 40 tackles last season. Lavine is only a sophomore but could be a factor for Hardin-Jefferson in trying to stop the Bears' running game.

The Bears hope to take advantage of the feast or famine defense used by Hardin-Jefferson. "It looks like they have a whole bunch of new starters on defense. I feel like they're going to be a lot more aggressive than they were last year, and we'll see a lot more man coverage and see a lot of guys in our face, so Payne's going to need to be able see those guys early, see where the blitzes are coming, and be able to fit the ball behind them. Our offensive line has got to come off the ball and make sure we get all of our gaps covered because they're going to bring heat from every direction at all times," Peevey concluded.

Little Cypress Mauriceville will play Hardin-Jefferson on Friday. The kickoff will be at 7:00 PM in Sour Lake.


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