Bears fall to Raiders in battle for first place
Last updated 10/31/2023 at 12:19pm
Sole possession of first place in the district was on the line Friday night. The Lumberton Raiders led most of the game and defeated the Little Cypress Mauriceville Bears 24-7 at Battlin' Bear Stadium.
The two teams came into the contest with identical 5-3 records and were 3-0 in district. With the win Lumberton is now 4-0 in District 10-4A Division I one game ahead of LCM with one game remaining on the regular season schedule.
The Bears received the opening kickoff and got a first down run on the first play from quarterback Dylan Payne. A pass interference penalty on the Raiders gave Little Cypress Mauriceville another first down at the Bears' 44.
After a short run by Jonah Fuller the Raiders were flagged for a personal foul penalty moving the ball to the Lumberton 36. Payne picked up two yards, but then threw a deep pass that was underthrown and intercepted by Cole Rhodes of the Raiders at the nine to spoil a potential opening scoring drive for Little Cypress Mauriceville.
Lumberton made no such mistake on its opening driving going 91 yards in five plays to put points on the board. Raider quarterback Lucas Powell connected with slot receiver Trey Kersh for 69 yards to set up two runs by Jaddon Ward for the touchdown. Tanner Tipton added the point after at 2:22 gone in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead to the Raiders.
After a three and out by the Bears, Lumberton started at its 43 and began a fourteen play drive that resulted in points. Powell and Kersh hooked up again for 15 yards. Powell showed he can the ball when he wants to with two carries for 15 yards moving the ball to the Bears' 15.
The LCM defense stiffened stopping monster fullback Ward twice, but were called for a personal foul penalty on the second tackle giving the Raiders a first and goal at the two. Three straight runs by the Raiders netted zero yards against the Bears, and Tipton booted a 19-yard field goal to give Lumberton a 10-0 advantage with 2:35 to go in the first quarter.
The Raiders scored on their third straight possession to start the game taking over at their 14 early in the second quarter. The duo of Powell and Kersh worked together for 38 yards on the first play to the Bears' side of the fifty. Three runs by Ward and a short pass to Kyler Bourque moved the Raiders to the LCM 34.
Powell threw a swing pass to the left to Kersh who split Bear tacklers and went the distance for the score. Tipton's kick made the score 17-0 in favor of Lumberton just 2:07 into the second quarter.
Little Cypress Mauriceville threatened following the ensuing kickoff. Fuller ran for a first down to the 33, and Payne threw a bomb to Braxton Rambo good for 52 yards to the Lumberton 15.
The Bears found out how tough the Raider defense can be as Fuller was tackled for a loss on first down. Three pass attempts from Payne all fell incomplete and LCM turned the ball over on downs in the red zone.
The Raiders mounted a short drive, but Powell who completed ten of his first eleven passes suddenly lost his accuracy and suffered incompletions on four of his next five throws. This setup a punting situation for Lumberton on which the snap was dropped by the punter and Parker Freeman recovered for Little Cypress Mauriceville at the 32 of the Raiders.
Payne hit Khayden Reed with a 19-yard completion to the thirteen. A holding penalty on a run by Payne moved the ball back to the 19. Payne picked up one yard on a run, and then had Reed wide open in the end zone on second down but over threw him.
Payne was sacked for a three-yard loss forcing the Bears to go for a 38-yard field goal. Danyon Craft normally used for kickoffs appeared to have the distance but the kick was well left of the up rights and not successful with ninety seconds to play in the half.
The Raiders got two more first downs moving the ball to the Bears' side of midfield. Powell took a knee to close out the half with Lumberton leading 17-0.
The visiting Raiders wasted no time adding to their lead. On third and two Ward popped loose up the middle and rolled 64 yards before being tripped up at the Bears' one yard line.
Ward was stopped for no gain on first down at the one. His backup Chase Williams got the honors and scored on the next play to put the Raiders up 24-0 a little over two minutes into the third quarter.
The Bears did have a nice pass completion from Payne to Keagan Cockerham for 32 yards to the Lumberton 44. Two plays later Payne was intercepted by Carter Wilson of the Raiders.
Powell moved Lumberton to a first down at the Bears' 29 after a 19-yard run. The next play Freeman hit Powell while he was throwing and Justin McCarver grabbed the errant aerial for the Bears.
Another close opportunity slipped through the Bears hands after the interception. Payne lofted a perfect pass to Rambo who was behind the last Raider defender but the ball went through his hands incomplete. Payne lost a fumble to the Raiders on the next play.
With the ball fairly deep in LCM's half of the field the Raiders felt they were in four down territory. Three runs and a dropped pass resulted in a turnover on downs for Lumberton.
Little Cypress Mauriceville punted the ball back to Lumberton which began another long time consuming drive of eleven plays. Powell scrambled 15 yards for a first down and a major penalty on the Bears moved the Raiders to a first and ten at the Bears' thirty.
Williams of the Raiders carried the ball three straight times for a total of five yards. Tipton booted a 42-yard field goal attempt that had the distance but hit the left upright and caromed to the side no good.
Taking over at their 25 the Bears had Fuller run the ball three times for seven yards. On fourth and three Payne swept left end and found running room for 20 yards to the Lumberton 48 before a hard tackle and maybe a stiff arm from Dylan left him on the ground in pain.
Payne was taken to the bench where his jersey and shoulder pads were removed. LCM trainer Sheri Hoffpauir appeared to be examining Dylan's right arm. A mobile cart took Payne to an ambulance just outside the stadium where he was receiving treatment from paramedics even after the game was concluded.
Replacing Payne as the Bears' quarterback was Evan Worster. On his first play Worster had a pass interference call on Lumberton result in a first down before he completed an 18 yard pass to Reed to the 15 of Lumberton.
Worster ran seven yards for a first down at the four. Two more runs by Worster the second for one yard got him in the end zone with 4:41 left in the game.
The Raiders called on Ward two more times to pick up two first downs. Powell eventually took a knee twice to run out the clock and end the game.
Dylan Payne was the leading rusher for LCM with 54 yards on 14 carries. Payne completed 4 of 16 passes for 105 yards. Khayden Reed was the Bears' leading receiver with 3 catches for 39 yards. Braxton Rambo had one reception for 52 yards and Keagan Cockerham also caught one pass for 32 yards.
Raider quarterback Lucas Powell passed for 218 yards and a touchdown completing 14 of 23 while also running for 77 yards on 9 carries. Jaddon Ward ran the ball 24 times for 169 yards with one touchdown.
Little Cypress Mauriceville will travel to Huffman next week to play the Falcons. The status of Dylan Payne for the season finale and the first round of the playoffs could be questionable. Lumberton closes the regular season against Livingston.