The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears lost the district finale to Navasota and dropped from first place to third place in District 10-4A entering the playoffs. The Bears had a key injury to Chris Winters in the loss according to Coach Randy Crouch. Winters is going through concussion protocol and it will be day-to-day before he will be available for practice or game conditions.
The Bi-District opponent for LC-M is Kilgore. Crouch examined the Bulldogs’ option offense. They run the triple option from the Spread’s shotgun formation. To defend against the option the Bears defense will work on assignments to stop the dive, the quarterback, and the pitch. Crouch admitted, “It’ll be a real challenge for us.”
Returning starting quarterback Patrick Jackson accumulated over 2100 yards running and throwing the ball last season. He is the leader on offense for Kilgore. The Bulldogs have a good sized offensive line and a pretty good offense.
Kilgore is the second seed in District 9-4A. Coach Crouch said the Bulldogs used a stout defense to finish in the runners-up position for their district. They use an even front in their 4-2-5 defense. “We’ll have to work on the 4-2-5 and be prepared for what they do,” Crouch observed.
One of the standouts on defense for Kilgore is Demorrea Richardson at a defensive end. He is very active. The other defensive end Octavian McKee is also a good-looking ball player on film. The Bulldogs’ linebackers are very aggressive, and the defensive backs are really quick.
Everything is amplified now that it is the post season. Crouch explained preparation for this week’s opponent will be even more intense, especially with the game scheduled for Thursday which means one less day of practice. He pointed out that during the regular season a team might be able to survive a bad half and still win, but in the playoffs, that will not work.
The Bears need to correct several errors from the loss to Navasota to be ready for Kilgore. Special teams especially had a rough night last week with a blocked punt and two muffed kickoff returns. “There’s a lot of things we need to work on and need to improve on to be able to meet this challenge,” Crouch concluded.
Little Cypress-Mauriceville plays Kilgore on Thursday night in the Bi-District Round of the UIL state playoffs. The Bears and the Bulldogs kickoff their contest in Lufkin’s Abe Martin Stadium at 7:30.