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Bears grab playoff spot with Rockport win

Bears grab playoff spot with Rockport win
DAN SHERRARD/LVSportsPhotos.com "” La Vernia sophomore Diego Mendoza (30) picks up some yards against Rockport-Fulton Nov. 3 at Bear Stadium. The Bears won, 45-13, bringing their record to 5-4, 3-1, and securing a playoff spot.

By Phillip Higginbotham

The La Vernia Bears moved to 5-4 on the season and 3-1 in District 15-4A after their 45-13 win over the Rockport-Fulton Pirates last Friday night, and clinched a playoff spot.

La Vernia junior Quarterback Clayton Chadwick and sophomore Diego Mendoza both scored on long touchdown runs in the first quarter. Chadwick added another 65-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Junior Brian Beltran’s 24-yard field goal propelled the Bears to a 24-0 lead at the end of the first half.

The Pirates changed up their offense in the second half and broke up the Bears’ shutout. However, La Vernia scored on a 21-yard Mendoza run to finish the third quarter with a 31-7 lead.

The Bears opened the fourth quarter with a 27-yard touchdown run from senior Derrik Barnhardt to push their lead to 38-7. The Pirates scored another touchdown, but failed on the 2-point conversion attempt. Barnhardt scored again on a 1-yard run and La Vernia finished with a 45-13 win.

La Vernia Head Coach Chris Taber said the Bears’ dominance was not something that happened on Friday night.

“We had a really good week of practice,” he said. “Our kids knew the importance of this game and really stepped their game up.”

The Bears find themselves tied for second in the district with Somerset, with a chance to win the title this Friday night when they play their main rivals, Somerset.

“If we win this final game and Beeville beats Pleasanton, we are district champs,” Taber said. “This would give us the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.”

Beeville Jones needs a win over Pleasanton to secure the final playoff spot in the district. Taber understands that Somerset will challenge the Bears.

“They are very well coached and have an extremely talented quarterback,” he said. “We will have to play well again.”

The Bears will take on the Bulldogs in Somerset at 7:30 p.m.

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