Little Cypress-Mauriceville Battlin’ Bears head into district play this week. Fresh off a victory against the Caney Creek Panthers, the team has its eyes set on their next goal, beating the Lumberton Raiders, and is not looking back.

The Bears defeated the Panthers, 48-24, Friday night at Moorhead Stadium in Conroe. After posting LCM’s second highest scoring home game a week earlier against the Nacogdoches Dragons, the Bears carried that momentum over to their battle against Caney Creek and rushed a total of 508 yards on offense, comparable to last week’s 506 against Nacogdoches.

According to LCM Head Coach Randy Crouch, the Bears’ success thus far is greatly contributed to one simple factor: teamwork.

“We have played together as a team,” Crouch said. “We’re very excited and we need to stay focused.”

The Bears captured the lead against the Panthers right from the start, when LCM linebacker Anthony Duran picked up a Caney Creek fumble and carried it 59 yards for the touchdown.

After a Panther tailback broke through the Bear defense for a 65-yard touchdown, LCM responded with a score by quarterback Hunter Gonzales to give the Bears a 13-7 advantage in the first quarter.

By halftime, LCM was leading with a score of 27-17 and things were looking better and better for the Bears. Tailback Tevin Jones scored his third touchdown of the game in the third quarter, increasing the LCM lead to 34-17. A few Panther turnovers helped the Bears quickly take advantage of such errors and gain possession of the ball.

Perhaps one of Caney Creek’s biggest plays of the game was when quarterback Jake Sweat scored on a 71-yard drive, boosting the score to 41-24. But, that’s as far as the Panthers got.

The Bears sealed the deal when junior Jordan Harmon leaped above his Caney Creek defender to catch a touchdown pass, leaving the final score at 48-24.

The Bears could not be going into district play with a better record or more motivation than they have now. First on the list to beat for the Bears are the Lumberton Raiders, whom the Bears will face next Friday, Sept. 24. Crouch said the Raiders will be the team’s focus for the next two weeks.

“We must work on our fundamentals – blocking and tackling,” Crouch said.

Lumberton is also 3-0 this season, beating such opponents as Barbers Hill and Silsbee in their pre-season match-ups.

Helping the Bears get to where they want to be is Hunter Gonzales, a senior and the team’s quarterback. He was recently voted the “Player of the Week” by the Beaumont Enterprise.
“I feel very blessed and honored to win,” Gonzales said of his award. “It all starts with the offensive line and my receivers. Without them, I couldn’t have done it.”

He said the team is excited about the season and looks for more wins in the future.

“I’m very happy with our record,” Gonzales said. “Coming in the season, I knew if we played well and played our game that we could be in this position.”

The Bears will have a bye this week and will spend their time focusing on one thing: the Lumberton Raiders.

“I’m very excited,” Gonzales said. “I think there is going to be a huge crowd and it should make for a great game. We have a few concerns on both sides of the ball, but they are very fixable ones that we are working hard to fix during this off week.”

The Bears and the Raiders will play at 7:30 p.m., Friday after next, at Bear Stadium.

About Lindsey Standley

Journalism/English II Teacher @ LCMHS