By Scott Loar
The Woodville Eagles began their 2019 football season with a trip into Bear Country – Little Cypress-Mauriceville Battlin’ Bear country to be exact. The Eagles fought hard throughout the entire game but in the end the Bears came out on top of a 21 to 7 score.
The first quarter of the game was dominated by the defenses for both schools the Eagles forced turnovers on downs on both of the Bears first two offensive possessions, but the Eagles offense was only able to generate one first down on its first two possessions. Eagles quarterback Kaden Young did show his passing skills on a 19-yard gain to Lane Ferguson to give a glimpse of what Eagles fans can expect from the new QB.
LCM would put points on the scoreboard early in the second quarter when they connected on a 31 catch and run for the game's first score. The extra point kick was good, and the Bears led 7 to 0 with 9:47 remaining in the first half of the game. The Eagles would start deep in their end of the field at their 6 on their next drive and were able to pick up a first down to sustain their drive, but it stalled after a penalty forced them into a 4th down and 6 yards to go. The Bears began their next drive at the Eagles 40-yard line as the Bears would need only 5 plays to score with the touchdown coming on an 11-yard run. The extra point kick made the score 14 to 0 with 5:26 remaining in the quarter. The Eagles would mount their best offensive drive of the first half on an 11-play drive that started on their 16-yard line and took the Eagles deep into Bears territory. Three first downs with another Young to Ferguson hook up that netted 27 yards, but it came to an end when the Bears picked off a pass on a fourth down play that stopped the drive and end the first half of the game.
The Woodville Band did their first halftime presentation of the season and they sounded very good. These students like the football team have been practicing for almost a month getting ready for their marching season.
The third quarter was like the first as neither team was able to score. The Eagles received the second half kickoff, but another interception ended the drive and set LCM up at the Woodville 27-yard line to begin their first drive. The Eagles defense held firm and forced a turnover on downs. Jacorey Hyder, Kameron Wyatt and D'Quincy Wise were all three defensive standouts especially in keeping the Bears out of the end zone on this short field drive.
The fourth quarter was again dominated by the defenses. The Eagles defense forced a punt and a turnover on downs and as the game clock got closer to the end of the contest the Eagles got their first break. After the defense stopped the Bears on a fourth down play the Eagles took over on the LCM 25-yard line. After a pass on a 4th down play moved the ball to the Bears one-yard line, Keon Chatman was rewarded for his hard running throughout the game with a one-yard touchdown run. Trevor Greer added the extra point kick and made the score 14 to 7 in favor of the Bears with 1:38 left in the game. The Bears would get the ball back after an attempted on- sides kick went out of bounds and set the Bears up at their own 44-yard line. Coach Ty Robinson called on his defense for one final stand and with a couple of time outs there still was a glimmer of hope that the game could possibly be extended. The defense held on 1st and 2nd downs, but the Bears picked up a first down on an 11-yard pass on 3rd down. Finally, on what looked to be a simple play to run out the time on the clock the Bears’ quarterback swept to the right of his offense, but he did not stop until he reached the end zone 51 yards away. The extra point made the final score 21 to 7 in favor of LCM.
The Eagles opened the season with a loss, but the team is having to replace a large number of players on both sides of the ball. There was plenty of effort by the players on the field and this will be a learning experience for players and coaches alike.