LC-M survives scare against Lumberton

Published 1:30 am Saturday, September 24, 2011

When LC-M defensive back Shea Richards made a stop on Lumberton running back Travis Kelly on a two-point conversion run attempt, the Battlin’ Bears let out a big gasp and walked away from Raider Stadium with a District 20-4A opening 27-25 victory and their mark still perfectly intact at 4-0.

The Raiders went on a 16-play, 83-yard scoring drive in the waning minutes of the game and quarterback Jordan Granato finished it with a 1-yard keeper.

Lumberton (0-4, 0-1), which ran the ball down the Bears’ throats for much of the game, finally got stuffed with Richards two-point stoppage with just 33 seconds remaining.

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“A win is a win in this district and it sure wasn’t a pretty one tonight,” said LC-M coach Randy Crouch. “You can’t fault our effort, it was there all night. We just missed a lot of assignments and missed a lot of tackles. Lumberton really made it rough for us. We made key plays in key moments that saved it for us.”

LC-M used big running plays by quarterback Brilon Douglas and tailback Alex Sezer and utilized two critical interceptions in the second half to thwart the Raiders.

The Raiders outgained the Bears 477-265 and ran 71 plays compared the LC-M’s 33.

Lumberton chewed up 365 yards on 58 carries. Douglas led the Bears ground game with 173 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries while Sezer had 74 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.

Granato rushed 16 times for 107 yards for the Raiders and completed 6-of-12 passes for 112 yards but had two crucial interceptions. The Raiders also received 100 yards on 18 carries from Clay Choate while Kelly had 85 yards on 10 carries.

Lumberton pulled to within 27-19 with 10:40 left. Kelly broke loose on a 49 yard run down to the Bear 25. Four plays later, tailback Chase Hendrix bolted off right tackle for a 13-yard touchdown.

LC-M linebacker Preston Armstrong picked off Granato at the Raider 47 and returned it to the 38 with 1:07 left in the third. Sezer then had a big 26-yard run to the 12 and three plays later Douglas scored on a 7-yard keeper around right end. The point-after was blocked as the Bears led 27-12 with 11:54 left in the game.

The Bears were a quick-strike bunch in the first quarter. LC-M took the first series of the game and hit paydirt, covering 66 yards in six plays. Douglas carries three times for 48 yards on the march and capped it with a 5-yard dart up the middle. Kicker Trent Manuel nailed the extra-point to give the Bears a 7-0 lead with 10:10 remaining in the first period.

Douglas answered the bell the next time the Bears got the pigskin back. On third-and-10 from the LC-M 15, Douglas took a quarterback draw up the middle and then found the right sideline on his way to an 85-yard touchdown gallop, pushing the Bear advantage to 14-0 with 5:59 left in the first period.

Douglas had eight carries for 160 yards in the first half.

“Those first two drives ended up huge,” said Crouch. “We played well early but we have to put together four quarters in this district. The district is going to be tight all the way through so every game already feels like a playoff game.”

The Raiders outgained the Bears 212-182 in the first 24 minutes. Granato completed 5-of-8 passes for 95 yards and had 54 yards on five carries.

The Bears return home next week to take on Beaumont Ozen while the Raiders visit Vidor.