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By Dan Perrine
For The Record 

Bears finish district schedule at Huffman


Last updated 10/31/2023 at 12:59pm

Quarterback Dylan Payne of LCM severely injured his right shoulder in the game with Lumberton and will unavailable to the Bears for the remainder of the season

The battle for the district championship did not turn out the way Little Cypress Mauriceville wanted it to go. The Bears will play their district finale before preparing for the start of the post season next week.

Little Cypress Mauriceville fell behind the Lumberton Raiders 24-0 before scoring a touchdown for the final points of the game. The Raiders clinched the championship staying undefeated in district with a single game left on the schedule.

LCM Coach Eric Peevey reflected on losing the game to Lumberton. "It was a tough loss being Senior Night for us and playing for a district championship. We would like to have gotten more production than seven points. There were definitely some bright spots. I thought our defense played fantastic throughout the game at different times," Peevey replied.

The score could have been closer. Peevey explained, "We gave up some big plays especially the first series on a pass route we worked to cover all week that the Raiders made a little wrinkle to it that our corner didn't sink deep enough and they hit a big pass play on us. I felt like our defense kept us in the game, but we couldn't get out of our own way on offense."

The Bears ran the ball well when they needed to, but the passing game needed to be better. "When you play in big games and you have wide open or potential big plays you've got to hit it. We didn't and that changed everything. Our hats off to Lumberton because they are a heck of a football team," Peevey saluted.

Another disappointing aspect in the game was the injury to LCM quarterback Dylan Payne in the fourth quarter. Payne suffered a really bad separation of his right shoulder under his collarbone on his 20-yard run for a first down.

Payne was sent to the hospital after the game and will not play the remainder of the season for Little Cypress Mauriceville. Dylan went to the doctor early this week for an MRI to check if there were any tears in the muscles around his shoulder.

Peevey expressed, "Dylan's a really tough kid and has done some great things for us, and I really hate losing him, but in football you have to be prepared for the next guy up. I thought Evan Worster came in and did a good job leading us down the field for a touchdown. It's his time to go this week."

A couple of Bears will return to the team this week. Jackson Smith missed the Lumberton game but has been cleared to play for the Bears on Friday. Running back Dustin Helm who has been sidelined because of an injury will play his first game of the year and should have some carries on Friday night.

Huffman has struggled through a rough season that has not gotten very much better with the start of district. The Falcons lost all five of their non-district games, dropped their district opener to Livingston, then blew out Splendora, and fell to Lumberton and Vidor in their last two games.

Huffman uses a true Spread Offense when it has the ball. The Falcons will deploy four wide receivers on every snap.

A big tight end Will Swartz will play in the slot as much as the normal tight end position. Peevey compared Swartz at 6-5, 215 pounds, to a Travis Kelce type more a receiver than a tight end. "They love to get him the ball," Peevey pointed out.

Everything on the Huffman offense starts with the quarterback Nolan Cook who is very athletic. Although not very big Cook was a receiver last season before being assigned the job of quarterback for the Falcons about mid-season this year. Cook reminds Peevey of Johnny Manziel the way Nolan can run around in circles to elude tacklers, and he really is their running game.

The Falcons returned five starters back on offense. They are still pretty young on offense with six sophomores starting including the quarterback Cook.

Peevey responded, "When I feel like we're the youngest team in this district, I look up and I realize the Falcons are a lot like us. The difference is their sophomores have shot themselves in the foot a lot, but they are very dangerous. They put up a lot of points against Vidor. Huffman's offense does kind of scare me because they are not scared with a sophomore gunslinger back there he's not afraid to throw it into triple coverage, not scared to throw it when a lot of quarterbacks wouldn't throw it for fear of an interception. Cook's going to let it rip, and he has a good little arm and is going to be a heck of a football player. You can tell the Falcons are getting better offensively each week."

On defense Huffman will play a four-man front like Little Cypress Mauriceville. Sometimes the Falcons are Cover Zero and other times they are Cover Three depending on what they are facing. Peevey expects Huffman to give the Bears a little bit of both coverages.

Will Swartz starts at defensive end for Huffman. Swartz gives the Falcons a big body up front for opponents to contend with.

There are six sophomores starting on defense too for the Falcons. "They just kind of fly to the ball. The other defensive end Jake Tinnin is one of those sophomores who is going to be a really good football player. They kind of rotate some other players on defense at different spots," Peevey analyzed.

Peevey continued, "The Huffman defense has been susceptible to some things, and this week we've got to focus on our offense, focus on us. With Evan coming in at quarterback we're not going to get too crazy. We're just going to run our base scheme, our base offense, and continue on with what we're doing but just get better at what we're doing going into the playoffs. Evan has a great ability to throw the ball and run it, so we're going to keep everything exactly like we had it before."

Little Cypress Mauriceville has a long road trip to play Huffman. "We've got to be focused every week, and we don't want to go into the playoffs with a loss. Right now we're locked in for second place in our district so even if we lose we're still second, but you never want that to happen. We want to continue to see improvement each week," Peevey concluded.

The Little Cypress Mauriceville Bears play the Huffman Falcons. The game will kick off at 7:30 on Friday night.


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