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Bears fall to undefeated Roughnecks in regional play
La Vernia quarterback Vince Gill (4) looks for running room around the right side of the line during the Bears’ regional semifinal loss to West Columbia.
West Columbia 28
La Vernia 7
CYPRESS -- They were happy to still be playing football the day after Thanksgiving, but after falling to the unbeaten West Columbia Roughnecks 28-7, the season has come to an end for the La Vernia Bears.
The team traveled to Cypress last Friday evening to take on West Columbia in the Berry Center. The Bears gave a great effort throughout the contest, but couldn’t overcome the speed and ability of the opposing team.
In the opening seconds of the game, West Columbia shocked the Bears as quarterback Treylon Johnican found running room from his own 30-yard line and sprinted 70 yards for a touchdown. He then booted the extra point, and the Roughnecks led 7-0 with 11:36 still remaining in the first quarter.
Things settled down from there, as both teams found ways to make plays and big stops. The speed of the Roughneck defense presented a big challenge to the Bears, and they continued to search for an answer to West Columbia.
Midway through the second quarter, the Roughnecks scored again, this time on a 3-yard run from Sean Flannel. Johnican kicked the point-after, and the score stood at 14-0 with 7:43 to play in the half. While the struggle continued throughout the remainder of the half, the Bear defense was able to repel the Roughneck offense, and neither team was able to score. As the buzzer sounded the end of the first half, it was West Columbia in control, leading 14-0.
The Roughnecks added a touchdown in the third quarter on a 3-yard run by Tyler Ince, then went on to add another Flannel touchdown with 8:23 to play in the game. Johnican kicked one extra point, and Danny Hunt kicked the other, giving West Columbia a 28-0 lead.
The Bears eventually scored with 3:16 to play in the game, as Aaron Grubb capped off a La Vernia drive with a 2-yard touchdown run from scrimmage. Alec Dews kicked the extra point, and the final score stood at 28-7.
“It was sad that they lost, but they got beat by a team that was better Friday night,” said one Bear fan who made the drive out to Cypress. “The Bears fought hard the whole game, never giving up.”
The Bear defense did a good job at taking away the Columbia passing game, as Johnican was 0 for 4 on the night, and was picked off once. The Roughnecks made all of their offensive headway on the ground, running the ball 48 times for 335 yards.
On offense, the Bears had an even balance of running and passing. Quarterback Vince Gill completed 13 of 18 passing attempts for 123 yards, with Levi Andrews leading the Bear receiving corps with 62 yards on six catches. Grubb and Kenny Moehrig each tallied 20 reception yards, Josh Rutledge had a catch for 13 yards, and Jose Sahagun caught a pass for 8 yards.
Grubb was La Vernia’s leading rusher, though he was held to just 64 yards on 19 rushing attempts. Gill had 30 yards on 11 carries for the Bears, and Landon Richter ran the ball one time for a yard.
The Bears end their season with an overall record of 7-6, but elevated their game when they needed to. The team won a bi-district title and an area championship en route to their regional semifinal appearance.
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