Bears hit the road to Splendora
Last updated 10/17/2023 at 1:29pm
Five straight games at home concluded last week for Little Cypress Mauriceville which included victories in the first two games of district action. This week the Bears go on the road and look to continue their recent successes with a third consecutive district win.
Both Little Cypress Mauriceville and Livingston were undefeated in district going into last week. The Bears took a 12-0 lead and then battled with a depleted lineup to win 18-13 over the Lions.
Coach Eric Peevey knew Livingston was going to be a tough battle for his Bears. "The size of the Lions, they've got a lot of athletes, and they've figured out what they're doing offensively and defensively through the last few weeks. The Bear defense played tremendous in the first half stopping them on three fourth down and short conversions when the Lions have not been stopped on hardly any fourth and short this year," Peevey indicated.
The LCM offense scored two touchdowns in the first half, but then struggled. Peevey elaborated, "The game came down to the wire when we got the ball back with four minutes to play and us up by five points. We told the kids we needed three first downs to run out the clock, so boy your necks it's time to go. Evan Worster came in at quarterback for Dylan Payne who had got nicked up, and Evan completed a deep ball for a first down. Jonah Fuller made an unbelievable run after catch on a screen that garnered a second first. Once again we give it to Jonah Fuller and he bulled his way in for a first down, and it's ball game!"
The last three games have taken a toll on the Bears. "Playing Legacy and playing Vidor and then playing Livingston back-to-back-to-back those physical type teams has put us in a situation where we're just beat up and banged up right now. We have multiple guys with shoulders and knees that might not be playing this week. Luke McDow pretty much played the Livingston game with one arm and made some big tackles for us. Quarterback Dylan Payne did not play the last series of the game because his shoulder was bothering him. My list of injuries shows 16 Bears that were in the training room this weekend and Monday. It's kind of been a next man up mentality," Peevey reported.
The big difference between the young players that started the season and the Bears now with seven games under their belts is a more determined effort. Peevey explained, "We're starting to see the battling in the kids. They've really grown up, they've really learned to fight and battle. I'm just really proud of where our kids are at right now."
This week Little Cypress Mauriceville plays the Splendora Wildcats the school with the largest enrollment in the district. Despite their higher number of students the Wildcats have only won their season opener dropping six straight games coming into this Friday night.
"Splendora is really fighting right now. They haven't got a win since the first game of the year. The Wildcats are trying to find their identity on both offense and defense. They've played better than they did last year. They just can't seem to get things in a row. They'll have a good series, then wait five or six series before they have another one," Coach Peevey pointed out.
The Wildcats will put their quarterback under center to operate from the I-Formation and look a lot like the old school Denver Broncos running wide zones, boot legs, and naked reverses according to Peevey. Then they will change formation to try to spread the opposing defense out to throw the football.
Players rotate in and out at most of the skill positions for Splendora. The quarterback Lubbers Robert is one consistency for the Wildcats ranking second in the district in passing yardage.
The biggest target of passes from Robert is wide out Angel Montero who ranks third in receptions among district pass catchers. The leading rusher for the Wildcats is Dominic Rodriguez.
Peevey analyzed, "They are solid players and they make big plays. Statistically, I think the Wildcats are like the third best offense in the district. They get stuff going they just can't keep from making mistakes. The biggest point for us defensively against them is to make the Wildcats earn everything they get over and over and over. Make sure we don't give up the big play, and attack their offensive line are our main keys on defense this week."
The Wildcat defense has transitioned from a three-man front early in the season to a four-man front in the last three or four games. Peevey believes the LCM offense will face the four-man front from Splendora.
Aggressive describes the defense for Splendora. The Wildcats will bring five defenders on every play. If they line up with four downed linemen there will be at least one linebacker blitzing from somewhere.
"The Wildcats had a tendency to give up some big passing plays early in the year, so now their defensive backs play really far back. We're just offensively going to get back to basics. We've got to make sure we're sound on offense and that everybody knows what they're doing assignment wise with our new receivers. We can't get complicated, can't be too crazy, we really just need to line up, and play battling Bear football," Peevey emphasized.
With two wins already in district against an opponent on a six game losing streak this is a trap game for Little Cypress Mauriceville. Peevey replied, "I think the kids are really excited about this week. The biggest thing that I'm so proud of this team about is everybody buying into their roles. Right now whatever we tell the Bears they do what we ask them. The kids are doing a good job buying in."
The game at Splendora is really the first road game for LCM since the only other two were at West Orange and Sour Lake neither more than an hour away. "This is a two-hour road trip. Our jobs as coaches is keeping the players focused for a team that on film they know is not as good and keeping them focused on a long trip and not have dead legs when we get there. With sixteen kids on the injury list we'll have several Bears who may never have played on a Friday night on the field. We've been preaching to the kids everyday how important is to go three and oh in district which not only locks you in the playoffs mathematically at the same point it gives us the chance to play Lumberton for a district championship," Peevey concluded.
Little Cypress Mauriceville travels to Splendora on Friday. The kickoff will be at 7:30 PM between the Bears and the Wildcats.