Bears hope to rebound against Cardinals
Last updated 9/5/2023 at 1:48pm
Rivalry games always get the players, coaches, and fans excited. The Little Cypress Mauriceville Bears play their second straight longtime county rival this Friday night at home.
Last Friday the Bears dropped the Orange Bowl 33-6 to the West Orange-Stark Mustangs. This week LCM plays the Bridge City Cardinals in a game that does not award a trophy to the winner just bragging rights for the side that comes out on top in the end.
Bears' Head Coach Eric Peevey was disappointed in the loss to West Orange-Stark. "We just got pushed around. They out played us physically for sure. The turnover early, the fumble really hurt. Giving up the big plays and then the snaps over the quarterback's head, we just had a lot of negatives, and when you play a good team like the Mustangs you can't have those kind of negatives," Peevey summarized.
There were some positives for the Bears. Peevey indicated, "I thought that our right tackle Clayton Farwell played fantastic against a really good defensive end. Clayton's come a long ways. I thought our quarterback threw the ball well. Dylan (Payne) threw it well against a team that is not easy to throw a lot of passes on. I thought our passing game went well with (Keagan) Cockerham catching the ball and (Braydon) Guillory catching the ball. We've got to keep getting better in the passing game."
Defensively there were a few highlights for Little Cypress Mauriceville. "I thought Jackson Smith played really well, but overall we just were not very physical and the Mustangs definitely got the best of us," Peevey reminded. There were no Bears injured other than bumps and bruises in the game.
The Bridge City Cardinals run a Spread Offense similar to what the Bears do. Through two games the Cardinals are undefeated and are averaging 23 points scored a game.
The Spread used by Bridge City features a fullback or H-Back that can also lineup as a tight end. The offense runs through the quarterback Hutch Bearden who is multi-talented.
Peevey described Bearden, "Heck of an athlete, very tough, can make throws even after people hit him constantly. I've seen him get up off the ground after making a great throw. It just seems to fire him up more. He runs the ball well, throws the ball well, and has complete leadership of the team. Everybody definitely looks at him for leadership."
The H-back or tight end Bryce Breeden is just a freshman. Peevey praised, "Breeden is a great football player, going to be a fantastic football player, and they find ways to get him the ball in the slips and things like that with the tight end. He's probably caught four or five balls a game. Bryce's a guy that we've got to make sure we find where he is."
Breeden is just the tip of the iceberg as far as dangerous skill players for Bridge City's passing game to use. Sophomore Abraham Mungia at slot receiver for the Cardinals is dangerous with the ball in his hands according to Peevey.
The coach added Jerris Brown at wide receiver was a human highlight reel against Orangefield when he had a touchdown reception in the season opener for Bridge City. Gavin Boden returns as a top receiver for the Cardinals.
"Their receivers are definitely dangerous, their tight end is dangerous. They use multiple running backs, but Hutch is definitely the one that we're keying on to figure out how to stop because he is a heck of a football player and a great young man," Peevey analyzed.
On defense Bridge City will line up with a three-man front that is very tough and physical. This is probably the strength of the Cardinal defense.
In the middle of the front line is noseguard Nicholas Lejeune who Peevey called the Cardinals' best player. Coach Peevey indicated Lejeune was ejected last week in the game with Buna so Nicholas may have to sit out the first half against Little Cypress Mauriceville this Friday.
That will still leave Bridge City with some solid defenders. Bryce Linder at defensive end and Ayden Richardson at the other defensive end are both tall and very physical type players.
The Bridge City secondary is all back from last year and are showing their experience against the pass. Peevey said, "Their secondary doesn't bite on a lot of stuff since they see a lot of passing in the practices. They're much better, much improved from last year. I think Coach Landry has done a fantastic job defensively with those guys. They run to the ball, fly to the ball, and this is a two and oh Cardinal team right now, and the defense is a main reason for it."
In two games the Cardinals have surrendered only 21 points. "You can definitely tell the Cardinals are better on both sides of the ball, but when you start holding people to less than ten points a game you get a lot better," Peevey asserted.
Little Cypress Mauriceville has dominated the series in recent years against Bridge City, but this is not the same Cardinal football team the Bears have been playing. Peevey emphasized, "This is a disciplined Cardinal team that is very good. We're one and one so we will have to play our best to beat them."
Friday's contest will also start an important series of games for Little Cypress Mauriceville. "This is the first game of a five-game homestand for us. We've got five tough games at home in a row. We've got to use that to our advantage by playing at home, and we've got to get the battling back to the battlin' Bears. That's the biggest deal we didn't battle last week, and we're going to have to battle every week because that's the type of team we have," Peevey concluded.
LCM plays at home against Bridge City on Friday. The kickoff will be at 7:00 PM.