Silsbee senior linebacker Colby LeBlanc sacks Little Cypress-Mauriceville quarterback Jake Sonnier late in the third quarter on Friday. -Photo by Daniel Elizondo
The Silsbee Tigers defense did its part shutting down the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears on Friday and help lift the team to its first victory of the season.
Silsbee (1-1) overcame a bitter loss to Port Neches-Groves in Week 0 of the season and provided second half team play that lifted the Tigers to a 34-20 win.
The win for Silsbee sets up another 4A matchup, this time with Hardin County rival Lumberton for the Tiger’s first home game of the season at Tiger Stadium.
“The way I see it is that anyone can win on any given night,” Head Coach Bobby McGallion said. “I know Lumberton is under a new system, but they are going to throw the ball nine out of 10 times.”
Silsbee has struggled early against the pass and hope that the Raiders won’t benefit, with only a few days to prepare.
Though the Tigers looked to have continued where the left off against PN-G, Silsbee entered the second half of its game on Friday with LC-M and dominated to preserve the win.
“I felt like we finally played together as a team in that second half,” McGallion said. “I think LC-M is as solid as any 4A team in this area. We stepped up and played well.”
Things looked good for Silsbee early on when the Bears won the toss and deferred possession until the second half.
Silsbee took advantage on its first drive of the game when senior quarterback Patrick Reed found Zayon Jackson on a 26-yard pass play on a third-and-10.
One play later, senior running back Floyd Spearman burst up the middle on a 48-yard touchdown run with 10:29 left in the first quarter.
Silsbee stopped LC-M on its initial drive and forced a punt attempt. But Silsbee special teams muffed the attempt after a bad snap and took possession on the LC-M 21-yard line.
On its first play from scrimmage a pass to Jackson at the 22-yard line failed when he lost handle of the ball and the Bears recovered it at that point.
Both teams exchanged punts and that’s when LC-M mounted a drive of its own.
The Bears drove nine plays and capped the drive with a 14-yard run by Jalen Griffin to tie the game 7-7 with 1:34 left in the first quarter.
Penalties haunted Silsbee early on and prevented another unsuccessful drive into the second quarter.
LC-M took advantage after a 69-yard punt return by Dalton Doyle to set up the Bears at the Silsbee 29-yard line.
On just two plays, LC-M scored after quarterback Caleb Harley connected with Doyle on a 32-yard strike to give the Bears the first lead of the game 14-7 in the second quarter.
Silsbee responded with a drive of its own on the ensuing possession. The Tigers reached scoring position after Reed completed a 33-yard pass to Chris Elam at the LC-M 2-yard line. Reed then scored on a 2-yard run. Lazaro Vasquez kick tied the game 14-14 with 6:06 remaining in the first half.
The Bears wouldn’t lay down and marched downfield on its next possession scoring on a 72-yard TD pass from quarterback Jake Sonnier to Dylan Gruber. The failed extra point left LC-M with a 20-14 lead at halftime.
Both teams struggled offensively in the third quarter until the Tigers began to find rhythm.
On a 4-play drive, Reed found Jackson once again, this time on a deep 48-yard pass for a TD with 31 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Vasquez’ kick put the Tigers on top 21-20.
Defense shined into the fourth quarter when Sidney Holmes picked off a Sonnier pass and give the Tigers life at the LC-M 33-yard line.
On a 6-play drive, Reed scored on a 4-yard run. Vasquez kick gave the Tigers a 28-20 lead with 6:48 in the game.
After forcing another LC-M punt, the Tigers mounted a 7-play drive that was capped with a 45-yard TD pass from Reed to Elam. On the PAT, the ball was snapped high and the Tigers attempted a two-point pass from Vasquez to linebacker Colby LeBlanc that fell short.
Reed completed 17 of 28 passes for 267 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He was nearly perfect in the second half, going 8 of 11 for 161 yards.
Zayon Jackson had his best statistical evening catching 10 passes for 143 yards. Chris Elam finished with three catches for 83 yards.
Reed and Spearman led the rushing attack with 53 and 52 yards respectively.
On defense, Spearman and LeBlanc led with six tackles each including two sacks each. Ryan Kirkendall finished with seven tackles and Keith Haynes finished with five tackles.
Lumberton (0-2) is coming off of a 44-6 loss to Barbers Hill on Friday. The Raiders are under new head coach Larry Haynes.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.