, Port Arthur, Texas


November 9, 2013

LC-M nips Vidor, looks to Dayton in playoffs

VIDOR — The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Battlin’ Bears righted the ship and will head into the postseason on the strength of a narrow 17-13 win against the Vidor Pirates  at Pirate Stadium Friday night.

The Bears wrapped up the third-place spot out of District 20-4A, qualifying for the playoffs for the first time since 1997.

LC-M will take on the Dayton Broncos in the Class 4A Region III Division II playoffs next week.

“This was a big win for our boys, coaches, and community.” said LC-M coach Randy Crouch. “It has been 17 years since we have been to the playoffs and we are proud of what we have accomplished.”

The Bears (5-4, 5-2) took control of the game right out of the gate, possessing the ball all but 1:26 of the first quarter. After the opening drive ended with a missed 38-yard field goal, they quickly forced the Pirates to a three-and-out. The next drive took 15 plays to find the end zone and finished a minute into the second quarter as Caleb Harley hit Dalton Doyle for a nine-yard strike over the middle for the score. Harley completed 6-of-7 on the drive including a 38-yard strike to Doyle.

The Bears forced the Pirates to another short drive before controlling the clock began to pay dividends. Brandon Tolliver bulldozed three Pirates as he rumbled for 62 yards before finally being drug down at the Pirate 11. Tolliver finished the job giving his team a 14-point lead by contributing a three-yard run across the goal line.

The Pirate offense finally found traction with a 40-yard run from Jeremy Stephenson to set up a 10-yard run by Haylon Leckelt to get the Pirates on the board.

It looked as if the Bears finally put the game out of reach when kicker Trent Manuel connected on a 41-yard field goal to extend the lead to 10 with only 4:23 left in the game.

The crowd did not have time to head for the exits before Pirate quarterback Geth Simmons found Zach Massey for a 72-yard touchdown toss. However, the PAT bounced off the upright to leave the Pirates trailing by four.

The Bears failed to produce anything on offense providing an easy three-and-out.

The Pirates (4-6, 2-5) started on their own 28, needing a touchdown to end a tough season with a win. Simmons took control of the typically run-happy Pirates completing four of six passes for 34 yards. The Pirates picked up three first downs on nine plays before being confronted with fourth-and-12 from the Bear 13.

With the game on the line, it looked as if the game ended with a pass sailing out of bounds, but a roughing the passer penalty gave the Pirates new life. With only 22 seconds on the clock only six yards stood between them and the victory.

Simmons looked to fire a pass over the middle, but the ball-hawk  Doyle made an amazing play to snag the pick and send his Bears home with a win.

Brandon Tolliver lead the Bears offensively rushing for 234 yards. Coach Crouch credited the offensive line in making that number possible.

Harley also had a solid night under center throwing for 154 yards on 13 completions. Doyle was his favorite target claiming 93 of those yards.

The Pirates depended heavily on Jeremy Stephenson’s speed as he racked up 103 yards. Sage Smith collected 43 yards as he closed out a stellar career for the Pirates.

“Sage is as good a kid as I have ever coached in my life” said Vidor coach Jeff Matthews. “It brings a tear to my eye to think that he wont be on the sideline with me next year”.


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  • Bassmaster Elites are coming back

    The Bassmaster Elite Series returns to Southeast Texas in March 2015 to fish out of Orange.
    The announcement was made last week, ahead of Bassmaster’s official tournament schedule announcement and the buzz is already strong in Southeast Texas and beyond.
    I was in Orlando, Fla. attending the ICAST (fishing trade) show and talked with a number of top anglers including Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli and Shaw Grigsby who said it was no surprise they would return considering the massive turnout for the weigh-ins and that the area welcomed them in a very special way.
    It’s far too early to speculate anything like who the top contenders will be or how the fishing will be but there are some things to keep in mind and to look for over the next few months and into the event itself.
    • Prefishing-There is a pre-fishing cutoff that usually extends to right before the Bassmaster Classic and I fully expect most of the anglers in the Elites to come back and prefish.
    Last go-round probably 2/3 of the field fished the area but this time I expect that to be just about everyone. Many of the anglers that did not pre-fish told me they expected to have a lot of water to fish but the sheer volume and diversity was almost overwhelming.
    Beginning probably in the early fall we will see many anglers fishing local waters to get a better idea on how to approach the area.
    • East to West Runs-The Elite anglers fished far and wide but I expect even more running next go-round. After launching from the Simmons Drive Boat Ramp in Orange angler Bill Lowen ran down the Intracoastal, across Galveston Bay and fished in the Clear Lake area and placed in the top 12. The more adventurous anglers will try super long runs, in my opinion, even longer than last time to try and score on big fish. The Intracoastal Canal system makes that possible.
    • Sabine River -Very few of the anglers actually fished in the Sabine River despite the event being called the “Sabine River Challenge”. I think that will change with more anglers running as far north as they can to find pockets of fish that receive little pressure and perhaps a four or five-pounder to push them over the top.
    • Bigger Turnout-Last year some 34,000 people attended the event which set a Bassmaster record for an Elite event.
     It was broken a couple of weeks later in New York but I fully expect the 2015 tournament to draw 40,000 plus. The reason they are coming back is not for the stellar fishing because while we have lots of bass, everyone knows our fishery cannot compare to Toledo Bend for example.
    The support from the public however was amazing and that is what is bringing the top anglers on the planet to fish our area.
    We will have the very best coverage of the event beginning now and leading up to it with exclusive interviews with all of the top pros with not only their thoughts on the big event but with unique tips on how you can catch more fish.
    It’s an exciting time and I look forward to bringing you special coverage on a special event.
    (To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on

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  • Babe Ruth.jpg Mid County Babe Ruth set to host Southwest Regional

    The Mid County Babe Ruth 18U team is once again knocking on the World Series door. Mid County will host the Southwest Regional at Nederland High School starting today. Mid County’s first game of the tournament is slated for 7 p.m. Friday against Pine Bluff, Ark. Thursday was a special day for Mid County Babe Ruth as two locals, Jimmy Collins (shown speaking) and Skip Hopkins (back left) were inducated intot he Southwest Regional Babe Ruth Hall of Fame. Both Hopkins and Collins have been involved in Babe Ruth for over 40 consecutive years either as player, coach or board member. There are nine teams in the tournament with the winner headed to Washington state for the World Series.

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From the Fieldhouse blog