Bears fight to the end

Bears fight to the end
RENE FLORES/ Colton Parrish (17) looks for running room as teammate Nick Simpson (82) helps clear the way. La Vernia came up a little short last Friday night in Round Rock, falling to Waco Robinson in the second round of the playoffs.

By Jeff Towns

LVN Sports Contributor

Waco Robinson 31

La Vernia 28

The second round of the Texas high school playoffs pitted two dominant teams from within Class 4A DI the La Vernia Bears and Waco Robinson Rockets. In the end, it was Robinson with a 31-28 win, ending the Bears’ season.

Robinson jumped out to an early 14-0 lead before the game was delayed by weather for two hours. Once the game resumed, the La Vernia Bears quickly got to work, and on the second play of the series, the offensive line cleared the way. Matthew Montgomery ran 55 yards for a Bears touchdown. That made the score 14-7 with two minutes left in the first quarter.

Robinson was shut down by the Bears’ defense with a broken pass attempt, and a huge tackle by Noah McMeans to bring the quarter to a close.

Robinson scored early in the second quarter, and the scoreboard read 21-7 with 11:54 left in the half. The Bears were forced to punt on their next offensive series, and Robinson was able to score again with 9:15 left in the quarter, making the score 28-7.

After the kickoff, the Bears’ offensive line was able to create some exceptional opportunities to move the ball downfield, including a completed pass from Colby Skelton to Justus Parker, an impressive first-down run by Matthew Montgomery, and a 33-yard catch and run by Colton Parrish. La Vernia’s tenacity proved worthy, and the Bears were able to score on the drive with a touchdown run by Tristan Summy. The Gianni Avril extra point made it a 28-14 game with 6:48 left in the half.

After the ensuing kickoff, the La Vernia defense was able to successfully keep the Rockets at bay with outstanding efforts from McMeans, Parker, Connor Towns, Summy, Parrish, and Montgomery. A fourth-down play by Waco Robinson ended in a quarterback sack by Zach Beach, halting any further progress by the Rockets in the half.

The third quarter opened with a completed pass from Skelton to Parrish, who ran 67 yards for a Bears touchdown. The extra point kicked by Avril was good, and the score came to 28-21 with 11:38 in the third. After the kickoff, the Bear defense took the field and demonstrated its might against the Rockets once again, with effective stops from McMeans, Parker, Towns, Montgomery, and the Bear secondary. The Rockets were forced to punt.

The remainder of the quarter consisted of a back-and-forth battle between the two teams over control of the ball. It ended with the score being 28-21 in favor of the Rockets.

The fourth quarter started with a completed first-down pass from Skelton to McMeans on the 34-yard line. Montgomery brought another huge offensive advance running the ball to the 11-yard line. A third-down 20-yard pass from Skelton to Parker in the end zone tied the score at 28-28 with 9:18 left in the quarter.

On its next possession, Robinson slowly moved the ball downfield, despite the best efforts of the Bear defense. Ultimately, Robinson was able to kick a field goal to make the score 31-28 with 5:37 left in the game.

After a kickoff return by Rusty Story, the La Vernia offense took the field, but was unable to make a first down, and Robinson assumed control of the ball. The Bear defense dominated the next series with tackles by McMeans, Esteban Vijil, Beach, and Colton Kubena. Robinson attempted a fourth-down pass that was knocked down by McMeans.

With the Bear fans on their feet, and the La Vernia Mighty Bear Band rocking the stadium for the final drive, the Bears began to move the ball down the field in an attempt to tie the game with a field goal, or pull ahead with a touchdown. Skelton was able to complete passes to Parrish and Parker. A final pass to Parrish was completed, but the Bears ran out of time, leaving the final score at 31-28.

Skelton completed 14 of 28 passes for 251 yards and two touchdowns. Parrish caught six passes for 141 yards, Parker caught five passes for 63 yards, Ethan Dennis caught two for 29, and McMeans and Story each had catches of 10 yards and 8 yards, respectively.

On the ground, Montgomery led the way with 102 yards on 10 carries. Summy had 18 yards on three carries, Dennis had 10 yards on three carries, and Parrish and Koby Bullard each ran for another 4 yards.

The Bears wrap up the season as the District 15-4A DI Champions, and they won a bi-district championship. The Bear football team, coaches, trainers, and players all carried themselves with pride and distinction throughout the season. They represented their school, fans, and city with class and character, and played to the whistle each and every game. Each football player wearing the La Vernia Bear logo practiced and played like champions the entire 2014 football season.