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By Dan Perrine
For The Record 

Bears begin district action at home against Vidor

 

Last updated 10/3/2023 at 3:38pm

Bears Khayden Reed and Carson McIlwain celebrate after McIlwain's touchdown reception

The bye week for Little Cypress Mauriceville came at a good time two weeks ago as the Bears played a very competitive game afterwards. This week the Bears start district action and must be functioning on all levels effectively.

Little Cypress Mauriceville played the Legacy Titans out of Spring and lost 34-33 failing to convert a two-point conversion attempt that would have earned the victory for the Bears. LCM is 2-3 on the season with the beginning of district on Friday.

Coach Eric Peevey is very proud of his Bears. "Anytime you get a loss it hurts, and this one hurt badly because I felt like our kids played to their full potential for the first time this year. We still had some mistakes, but I tell them I don't care if they make a mistake if they are playing at full speed and playing with the heart, and that's what they did they played absolutely hard from the first snap of the football game to the last snap. We had a chance to win it, we didn't pull it out, but I definitely feel like we had more kids starting to learn how to play the game of football. They're finally starting to figure it out, and when you have a younger team and see these kids are growing up right in front of you it's very important," Peevey expressed.

The entire offensive line for Little Cypress Mauriceville played its best game all year. Those Bears are Jovany Molina at left guard, Nathan Childress was moved to center which allowed Carson Phelps to switch to right guard. The Bear tackles Jaylon Broussard and Clayton Farwell have been the strength of the offensive line. LCM is kind of getting everybody together at the right time.

Tight end Carson McIlwain played his best game blocking and receiving against Legacy. Quarterback Dylan Payne ran for over two hundred yards.

Coach Peevey responded, "I felt like we didn't just run the ball, we ran the ball very physically. Jonah Fuller and Dylan Payne, they had a great game."

The first game of district for Little Cypress Mauriceville is against a familiar foe in the Vidor Pirates. After losing their first two games the Pirates now have a three game winning streak heading into the district.

Coach Dwayne DuBois has returned to Vidor where he was an assistant for several years under Jeff Mathews before taking head coaching jobs at Hardin-Jefferson and at Bridge City. DuBois replaced Mathews who retired at the end of last season, but there probably will not be many changes especially on offense.

DuBois installed the Slot-T Offense in both Hardin-Jefferson and Bridge City which he also ran when he was an assistant at Vidor. The Pirates will be running their familiar Slot-T on Friday night against Little Cypress Mauriceville.

Quarterbacking the Pirates for the last three games is Daigan Venable who is the leading returning ground gainer for Vidor. Venable played running back last year but since taking over at quarterback the Pirates have won all three games.

Since the change at quarterback Venable is running the ball more than the previous Pirate quarterback did, and the positive results are evident by three wins without a loss.

Venable has made the Pirates more explosive in their running game. They also have an explosive tailback Isaac Fontnow. The Vidor offense revolves around the fullback Riley Marlow who is a very physical runner, he runs hard, and everything kind of focuses around him in the middle of it.

"The Pirates try to get the fullback going early, and off of that they have all their fakes, quarterback keeps, and everything else they do. They're the type of team that will celebrate a three-yard run. They are looking to keep long sustaining drives and run out the entire quarter, score, then kickoff, and try to make your offense go three and out and then do the same exact thing. We've got to bow our necks and get physical this week," Peevey emphasized.

The only experience for LCM with the Slot-T this year was in the preseason scrimmage with Orangefield. Peevey indicated, "I felt like we played well against them, but Orangefield is kind of running a different form of Slot-T than Vidor which does the best job of any team that we face snapping the ball as soon as they break the huddle. The Pirates only give you about three seconds to get ready and here they come. That's what we've got to do a good job of being ready as soon as they break the huddle be ready to play football."

The Vidor defense bases out of a 3-4 but will usually have a fourth defender move into the box. The Pirates will often move an outside linebacker up to fill the front line.

Outside linebacker Braden Root has played on the varsity for Vidor since he was a freshman. Root can stop the run and does a great job against the pass as well as evident by his 74 tackles and 5 sacks last season.

On the inside is middle linebacker Tate Ardis who is big and physical for the Pirates. Ardis made 85 tackles in his previous year.

In the secondary Bryce Dubose is a leader. Dubose has a pick six to his credit this year with the Pirates who lead the district in team interceptions.

"They play very fast and very physical on defense, and they try to get a lot of turnovers to get the ball back to their offense so you may not get the ball back for long stretches during the game. That's their goal is to cause turnovers, get the ball to their offense, and keep your offense off the field," Peevey explained.

LCM quarterback Dylan Payne rushes for some of his 200 yards he gained against Legacy last week

The opening game of district is always important so it is vital to begin with a win. In Peevey's three years as the head coach at Little Cypress Mauriceville the Bears have started district with Vidor each season.

Peevey analyzed, "It's a new half of the season. It doesn't matter whether you're oh and five or five and oh when district starts it's all thrown out the window."

"This has to be a game where we come out and put our foot down and say we're going to play our style of football and get after it and not focus on anything else. We've got to focus on this week and it started during the week of practices. We've got to be really good at practice this week," Peevey concluded.

Cross-county rivals the Little Cypress Mauriceville Bears and the Vidor Pirates play on Friday night. The kickoff will be at 7:30 in Battlin' Bear Stadium.

 

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