Bear defense shuts down Canes
Sam Houston 0
La Vernia 3
LA VERNIA -- Famed Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant is credited with saying that “offense sells tickets, defense wins championships.” And while there may have been no championship on the line last Friday night in La Vernia, the Bears sure played like there was. With the game scoreless, and one second remaining on the clock, the offense came through as Alec Dews kicked the biggest field goal of his career to lift the Bears to a 3-0 victory.
Prior to the Oct. 21 District 28-3A matchup, the Sam Houston Hurricanes had an offense that, well, “sold tickets.” The Hurricanes averaged more than 40 points per game, and were in a tie for second place in the district. After the loss in La Vernia, however, the Canes find themselves just outside of the playoff picture in fourth place, with only two games remaining on the schedule.
For La Vernia, it was a realization that the team is still having a good season. The Bears’ tough non-district schedule may have put doubt in the minds of some, but not those who know and trust Coach Bo Robinson.
To put things in perspective, consider the following. Prior to the game with La Vernia, Sam Houston’s star running back JeQuan McBride had run for nearly 1,000 yards this season, and averaged nearly 9 yards per carry. The Bear defense may not have stopped McBride entirely, but it sure slowed him down. La Vernia’s defense held McBride to just 80 yards on 16 carries, and kept him out of the end zone entirely, a feat only one other team has been able to do this season.
As for the passing game, Jhurell Jackson had completed nearly 50 percent of his passes this season, and had tossed 11 touchdowns. In La Vernia, he was held to just 4 of 12 throwing the ball, and was picked off once in the process. La Vernia helped force four Sam Houston fumbles, and the Bear defense recovered one of them. While the Bear “defense” may not have been selling tickets, it sure helped win the game.
On the other side of the ball, La Vernia’s offense struggled, but still moved the ball well at times. The Bears ran the ball 41 times for 118 yards, and completed 3 of 6 passes for another 45. Aaron Grubb led the way with 113 yards on 20 carries, followed by Landon Richter with 11 yards on six carries. Josh Rutledge caught all three passes from Vince Gill for 45 yards.
The best offensive statistic of the night, though, was the 32-yard field goal by Dews. With just a second remaining on the clock, and the game on the line, he did his job. As the ball sailed through the uprights, Dews delivered the win for his team, his coach, and his town.
With the win, the Bears improved their overall record to 4-4 and their district record to 3-1. The win puts the Bears in a tie with Cuero for second place, and it appears as though the playoff spots from District 28-3A will come down to the very end.
The Bears will travel to Gonzales this Friday, Oct. 28, to face the district-leading Apaches. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.