The Port Arthur News
LITTLE CYPRESS —
Riding the arm of quarterback Patrick Reed and the hands of receivers Zayon Jackson and Chris Elam, the Silsbee Tigers scored 20 unanswered points to storm past the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Battlin’ Bears 34-20 at Battlin’ Bear Stadium Friday night.
Reed completed 16-of-27 passes for 274 yards and two touchdowns and ran for two more scores as Silsbee evened their record at 1-1. Jackson hauled in nine receptions for 150 yards and a touchdown while Elam added three catches for 83 yards and a score.
The Tigers outgained the Bears (0-2) 401-257.
The Bears received a second straight excellent rushing game from running back Jalen Griffin, who tore through the Tiger defense for 105 yards on 20 carries and scored a touchdown. LC-M quarterbacks Jake Sonnier and Caleb Harley combined to complete 9-of-18 passes for 156 yards and a touchdown.
The Tigers went up 21-20 with 0:32 remaining in the third quarter when Reed hit a streaking Jackson with a 48-yard touchdown strike over the middle. Kicker Lazaro Vasquez made the extra-point to give them the lead.
On the next LC-M series, Tiger defensive back Sidney Holmes picked off a Sonnier pass at the Tiger 42 and returned it to the Bear 33. Three plays later, Reed connected with running back Floyd Spearman on a 27-yard dart to the Bear 2 on a 1st-and-25 play. Reed scored three plays later, bulling his way into the end zone from four yards out to make it 28-20 with 6:48 left in the game.
The Tigers sealed it with a seven-play, 85-yard scoring drive capped off by a 45-yard touchdown bomb from Reed to Elam, making it 34-20 with 2:24 left as the two-point pass attempt failed.
The Tigers struck quick on the first series of the game, going 80 yards in five plays with two big plays along the way.
Reed connected with Jackson with a 31-yard strike that went to the Bear 49. Two plays later, Spearman bolted around the right end and went 48 yards untouched to the end zone as the Tigers led 7-0 with 10:29 left in the first period.
The Bears engineered a nice, nine-play, 65-yard touchdown march to get even late in the first thanks to the legs of Griffin. Griffin rushed for 42 of the yards on four carries and caught a pass for nine more. He capped it with a 14-yard touchdown burst off left tackle to make it 7-0 with 1:34 in the first.
The series was kept alive when Sonnier connected with Dalton Doyle on a 10-yard screen pass on fourth-and-6 from the Tiger 37. Doyle had a big outing for the Bears with six catches for 92 yards.
It was Doyle who “stole the show” on LC-M’s next drive. First, he brought back a Tiger punt 64 yards all the way to the Silsbee 29. Two plays later, Doyle was the recipient of a 32-yard touchdown dart over the middle from quarterback Caleb Harley that gave the Bears a 14-7 cushion with 9:35 left in the half.
The Tigers drew back even on their next possession, hitting paydirt with a eight-play, 65-yard march. The big play came when Reed hit Elam on a superb pass down the left sideline that went for 33 yards down to the Bear 2. On the next play, Reed took it in from two yards out off left tackle to tie it up with 6:06 in the half.
The Bears wasted little time to snatch the lead again when Sonnier teamed up with receiver Dylan Gruber on a 72-yard touchdown toss down the left sideline. Sonnier hit Gruber in stride with about a 15-yard toss and Gruber sprinted the rest of the way. However, the Bears’ extra-point kick failed as they led 20-14 with 3:24 left in the half.
The Tigers outgained the Bears 208-180 in the first 24 minutes.
Sonnier and Harley combined to go 6-of-9 for 140 yards. Doyle had four grabs for 59 yards while Griffin had 44 yards on 10 totes. Reed completed 8-of-16 passes for 113 yards with Jackson hauling in four for 65 yards. Spearman had six carries for 48 yards.
LC-M’s Brandon Toliver picked off a Reed pass and returned it from the Bear 28 to the Tiger 38 with 8:09 left in the third. However, the Bears had a tough holding penalty and Silsbee stuffed the Bears on a fourth-and-3 running play with 5:38 in the third.
The Bears will have their bye week next week while the Tigers return home to take on Lumberton.