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By Dan Perrine
For the Record 

Bears to battle Lions for share of first place in district


Last updated 10/10/2023 at 4:36pm

Linebacker Luke McDow of LCM led the Bears in tackles with 18 and intercepted a pass in their overtime win to open district against Vidor

The district began with a thrilling win for Little Cypress Mauriceville last week. Another tough district game is this week for the Bears against a team that also won its first district game.

Little Cypress Mauriceville battled the Vidor Pirates into overtime. The Bears stopped the Pirates on four running plays before scoring on their possession in the overtime to win 34-28 at Battlin' Bear Stadium.

Coach Eric Peevey was as excited about the victory for LCM as were their fans. "It was a fantastic game. It was what all high school fans pay their money to come and see. Vidor is such a great football team and is known for their passion and how hard the Pirates play. We've had some good teams since I've been here, but this young team of Bears is the first team to finally start to play with the grit and tenacity it takes to play with a team like Vidor. We may not be as skilled as we've been in the past, but we're really tough and we're starting to figure out how to play tough," Peevey exclaimed.

For the second straight game LCM quarterback Dylan Payne was a star on offense with a hundred yards rushing and a hundred yards passing. Peevey responded, "I think he had four touchdowns rushing and passed for the winning score in overtime. We call him the 'Payne Train' and you can compare him to a Tim Tebow type where he's not scared to mix it up and his runs are not always around the edge. Many times it's right up the middle into the teeth of the defense. Dylan's a very physical type player."

The passing game was sluggish early for Little Cypress Mauriceville, but Payne settled down. He completed a big fourth down pass to Keagan Cockerham who battled for a first down that setup a late touchdown and finished with the game winner to Khayden Reed in overtime.

Peevey patted the offensive line on the back. "That's two weeks in a row the Bear linemen have played great. Right now we've got eight offensive lineman that can play and that's a very positive thing, and I'm just really proud of the offense," Peevy praised.

The LCM defense played the Vidor Slot-T Offense well especially in the overtime when it held the Pirates to minimal yardage on four running plays. Peevey acknowledged, "This was the best I've seen our kids play the Slot-T since I've been here. The one thing that I feel our Bears did was they understood their roles and they did their responsibilities. When you can stop Vidor from getting ten yards on four running plays that is very tough defense."

One Bear that really stood out on defense was Luke McDow with 18 tackles and an interception one of only two times the Pirates threw the football. "Luke has been battling injuries for the last couple weeks and playing through it," Peevey added. Sophomores Parker Freeman and Trevor Lloyd were also recognized for their outstanding defensive play by the coach.

Three years ago Livingston was the district champ, but the last couple of seasons the Lions were near the bottom of the standings. This year though the record is only 1-5 Livingston has opened with a killer of a non-district schedule followed by a blowout win against Huffman to open district which means the Lions could be a contender once again.

The Lions are very physical preferring to run the ball first from multiple sets. Livingston will run the ball and then try to hit bootlegs or play action passes off of that.

Two running backs Trenden Williams and Jerren James are the primary ball carriers for the Lions. Peevey commented, "Those two guys are very physical runners. Williams is more of a scat back, James is more of your physical guy."

Livingston will rotate quarterbacks and run quarterback sneaks on first down just to pick up three or four yards.

Helping Williams and James to find running room is a big offensive line. Lineman Jonathan McNeal is frequently the lead blocker the Lions will run behind.

This Friday will be another physical game for Little Cypress Mauriceville. "We're getting to the point where the Bears are figuring out how to play tough physical football. We have to because we're an undersized team," Peevey pointed out.

On defense Livingston will usually show a four-man front but will vary that and have shown multiple defensive fronts in games. Lions' Coach Finis Vanover is noted for doing different things to confuse opposing offenses.

The Lions have some talented players on defense and will normally man up the secondary with some quality defensive backs. Senior Chevy Peters is very good in pass coverage.

McNeal also plays in the defensive line and is a big guy who gets after ball carriers. At defensive end Deondre Johnson is very active and plays well.

Peevey analyzed, "The Lions are going to try to stop our run. We know that and they will put everybody in the box. We're going to lean on our offensive line to continue doing a fantastic job and our young receivers to make some key catches in the game."

This is only the second game on the district schedule but with only four games remaining every one of them is vital. "With both teams at one and oh, we both know how important this game is. Our players have to realize there are only four guaranteed games left so that makes it that much harder to fight for it," Peevey concluded.

The Little Cypress Mauriceville Bears play the Livingston Lions on Friday night. The game begins at 7:30 in Battlin' Bear Stadium.


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