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Bears beat Ducks for Homecoming victory

Bears beat Ducks for Homecoming victory
La Vernia quarterback Colby Sims delivers a pass down field during the Bears’ 28-24 Homecoming win over the Taylor Ducks.

Taylor 24
La Vernia 28

LA VERNIA The visiting Taylor Ducks made things interesting last Friday night during the La Vernia Bears’ Homecoming football game, but in the end, it was La Vernia with a last minute touchdown to seal the 28-24 victory for the Bears.

La Vernia got things rolling midway through the first quarter of play, and put the game’s first points on the board with a short touchdown run from quarterback Colby Sims. Alec Dews booted the point-after for the Bears, and La Vernia celebrated a 7-0 lead.

The battle raged into the second quarter when the Ducks scored for the first time on a 2-yard run. The extra point made it a 7-7 game, and it became clear that La Vernia had a tough fight on its hands.

With just over a minute to play in the half, Taylor took its first lead of the night on a 42-yard field goal. Down 10-7, the Bears had little time to work, and it appeared to many as though La Vernia would go into halftime with a deficit. Fortunately, no one told the Bears that. With the ball spotted just across La Vernia’s own 30-yard line, Sims hit Levi Andrews for a completion that was good for 69 yards and 6 points. Dews kicked the extra point, and the score stood at 14-10 in favor of La Vernia at the break.

After returning to the field, the teams held one another in check during the third quarter, and entered the fourth quarter with the score still 14-10 in favor of the Bears. Then, with 9:51 to play in the fourth, Taylor capped off its third scoring drive of the night with a 1-yard run across the goal line. The extra point was good, and the Ducks assumed a 17-14 advantage.

Just as they had done before the half, though, the Bears immediately responded to the Ducks’ scoring drive with one of their own. Taking less than one minute off the game clock, La Vernia moved the ball down the field and scored on a 14-yard passing strike from Sims to Landon Richter. Dews did his part with the extra point, and La Vernia was back on top, 21-17.

Taylor wasn’t finished on the night, though, and the Ducks came back down the field to score on a 2-yard run with 5:42 to play in the game, taking a 24-21 lead over the Bears.

La Vernia didn’t get the immediate response to the score this time, but the Homecoming crowd held faith in the Bears, and were rewarded in the closing seconds of the game as Sims threw his third touchdown pass of the night. Sims connected with Andrews for his second touchdown of the game, and put La Vernia on top 27-24 with 17 seconds to play. Dews booted the extra point to make it 28-24, and the Bears held on for the win.

La Vernia took a different approach to the game than what many may have been used to, running and throwing 25 times each for a truly balanced attack. Richter led the running game with 62 yards on 11 carries, followed by Vince Gill with 39 yards on nine carries. Sims added another 18 yards to the total.

Sims completed 12 of 24 passing attempts for 198 yards and three touchdowns. Gill threw one pass that was good for another 29. Andrews was La Vernia’s leading receiver of the game with four receptions for 85 yards and two touchdowns. Jose Sahagun caught five passes for 72 yards. Dews caught a pass for 28, Richter caught two for 25 yards and a touchdown, and Rudy Mendoza hauled in one Sims pass for 17 yards.

With the win, the Bears improve to 2-4 on the year, and will now shift to District 28-3A play. The Bears will be back at home this Friday, Oct. 12, as the unbeaten (6-0) Pleasanton Eagles bring their Luke Walters-led aerial attack to La Vernia.

The Eagles started the season with a trio of wins over Class 4A teams Edison, Jefferson, and Lanier. Pleasanton then knocked off Lytle, blanked Carrizo Springs 47-0, and doubled up on Crystal City, 40-18.

The Eagles are definitely a passing team, and Luke Walters is definitely deserving of the attention he is getting again this year. Through Pleasanton’s six games, Walters has completed 96 passes for more than 1,600 yards and 23 touchdowns. He has been intercepted only once. The Eagles are averaging more than 41 points per game, and will pose a serious challenge to the Bear defense, and secondary in particular.

With Sims in at quarterback for La Vernia, however, the Bears are discovering their own passing attack. Balanced with a strong running game and tenacious defense, the outcome this week is anyone’s guess.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. in Bear Stadium.

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