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Bears earn decisive bi-district win

Bears earn decisive bi-district win
LV Boosters Club Christian Bruce races past a Zapata defender during the Bears’ 70-7 bi-district win over the Hawks. Bruce ran seven times for 31 yards and a touchdown, and also caught a 36-yard touchdown pass.

Zapata 7

La Vernia 70

There is no doubt that the La Vernia Bears have gotten better as the 2015 football season has progressed, and perhaps no team is more aware of that than the Zapata Hawks. The two teams met in the first round of the playoffs last Friday night, and the Bears absolutely pounded on the underdogs to the tune of a 70-7 final score.

La Vernia got things rolling early, and running back Reagan Tucker scored his first of four touchdowns on the night to give the Bears a 6-0 lead. Miguel De La Torre then kicked the extra point to make it a 7-0 game. Wyatt Cowsert also got in on the scoring action in the first quarter, and a successful 2-point conversion gave the Bears a 15-0 lead with just over two minutes left to play in the first quarter.

Early in the second quarter, Cowsert scored his second touchdown of the night and the Bears led 22-0. The Bears kept firing on all cylinders, and scored touchdowns No. 4 and 5 as Christian Bruce and Tucker each found the end zone. With about seven minutes remaining in the half, the Bears led Zapata 36-0.

The lead was impressive, but the Bears weren’t quite finished in the half. Bruce and Tucker each scored another touchdown in the final three minutes of the half, and La Vernia took a 50-0 advantage into halftime.

La Vernia eased back on the throttle in the second half, but still hung another 20 points on the board. The first touchdown of the second half was courtesy of Tucker and the offense, though the second score of the half was on a defensive “pick-6” from Zane Snell. Snell snatched the Zapata pass out of the air and returned it 47 yards for a touchdown.

With the score at 63-0 midway through the fourth quarter of play, the Hawks finally got on the board to make it 63-7. Derrek Barnhardt and the Bear offense responded, though, scoring a 10th and final touchdown of the night to make the final score 70-7.

Quarterback Garrett Spencer completed four of seven passing attempts for 80 yards, including a 36-yard touchdown strike to Bruce. Cowsert had two grabs on the night for 27 yards, and Tucker caught a pass that was good for another 17.

The bulk of the Bear offense was on the ground, though, and Tucker was once again the team’s workhorse, as he ran the ball 25 times for 173 yards and four touchdowns. Cowsert had 41 yards and two touchdowns on seven touches, and Bruce ran another seven times for 31 yards and a rushing touchdown. Barnhardt added two carries for 24 yards and a touchdown, and Parker Beck had four runs for 17 yards.

In addition to the potent offense, the Bear defense did its job to earn a bi-district title. Senior Koby Bullard once again led the defensive effort, as he tallied 14 tackles on the night, including three sacks. Nathan Muehe had eight tackles and two sacks, and Matthew Montgomery racked up seven tackles and a fumble recovery. Snell ended the night with six tackles, to go along with his interception for a touchdown. John Hernandez had five tackles on the night, and also came up with a fumble recovery and an interception with a 27-yard return.

Travis Pullman had five tackles; Ryan Rocha, Peyton Kosub, Samuel Thompson, Jaymee Burns, Hayden Johnson, and Gavin Austin each had four tackles on the night; and Robert Olivarez, Alex Ibarra, and Christian Sanchez each recorded three tackles against the Hawks. Wilfredo Rodriguez had a tackle and forced fumble, Dustin Norman had a tackle and a fumble recovery, and John Rutkowski, Zach Ruiz, Cody Martinez, Cody Shaw, Jerran Anderson, and Robert Nobles each recorded a tackle, as well.

The victory gives the Bears a bi-district title and improves the team’s overall record to 7-4. It also advances La Vernia to the area round of the playoffs, where it will face the 5-6 Gatesville Hornets.

The area championship will be played this Friday, Nov. 20, at Buda Hays. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

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