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Bears battle Eagles in district matchup

Bears battle Eagles in district matchup
As the game clock reached zero in Pleasanton, the La Vernia Bears shook hands and left town with a 32-26 victory. It was the Bears’ sixth win of the year, and for the Eagles, it was their first loss.

La Vernia 32
Pleasanton 26

PLEASANTON Everyone expected a great matchup when La Vernia traveled to Pleasanton last Friday. The Eagles were unbeaten and the Bears had just one loss on their record, which came at the hands of Class 4A powerhouse. The teams took the field just at 7 p.m., and they did not disappoint. The District 28-3A meeting was a heated, physical game between two talented teams, but in the end, it was La Vernia picking up the win, handing Pleasanton its first loss of the year.

Emotions were high and tempers flared as two giants of Class 3A clashed on the field. The game was riddled with penalties, as the teams combined for 20 flags and 150 yards in punishments. Two members of the Eagles team were ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct in the first half, and one Bear player received the same punishment. There was also a serious injury to start the game, as La Vernia’s Cody Cook was hurt on the opening kickoff.

As for the scoring, things were quiet to start, but heated up late in the first quarter as La Vernia quarterback Colby Skelton found receiver Justus Parker for a 6-yard touchdown. The conversion attempt was no good, but the Bears had the early 6-0 lead.

La Vernia scored again in the first quarter on a 29-yard run from scrimmage, and once more during the opening seconds of the second quarter. A Landon Richter touchdown run was followed up with a Levi Andrews extra point, and the Bears led Pleasanton 19-0 with 11:51 to play in the half.

With just under seven minutes to play in the half, La Vernia struck again, this time on a 14-yard passing play from Skelton to Andrews. The conversion attempt was no good, and the score was 25-0.

Pleasanton finally got on the board with 5:41 to play in the half to make it 25-6, but a Skelton-to-Parker pass went for 12 yards and another touchdown, giving La Vernia a 31-6 lead. Kyle Douglas kicked the extra point to make it 32-6.

The Eagles had one final push left in the first half, and scored with less than a minute to play. The 2-yard touchdown run and extra point made it a 32-13 game, as the teams headed for the locker rooms.

Midway through the third quarter, a moment of contention occurred as a La Vernia passing attempt led to 6 points for the Eagles. A pass hit the turf, and while La Vernia coaches and fans felt it should have been ruled incomplete, the officials ruled it a catch and fumble a fumble that was returned 75 yards for a touchdown. A failed conversion attempt left the score at 32-19 with 4:06 to play in the third.

The final score of the night came in the fourth quarter as Eagle quarterback Jacob Arevalo connected with receiver Jason Mills for an 11-yard touchdown. Mills added the extra point, and the final score stood at 32-26 in favor of La Vernia.

On paper, the two teams turned in similar numbers. La Vernia tallied 287 yards of offense, while Pleasanton was good for 237. Each team earned 16 first downs, and each lost a fumble. The Bears held a passing advantage, and punted four times versus five times by Pleasanton. The numbers on the scoreboard are really all that matter, though, and the Bears had the advantage there, too.

Skelton completed 10 of 17 passing attempts for 137 yards and three touchdowns. Parker caught four passes for 70 yards and two touchdowns, while Andrews caught four tosses for 64 yards and a touchdown. On the ground, Vince Gill handled most of the workload with 43 yards on 15 carries. Skelton ran six times for 29 yards, and Richter had another 18 yards on his six carries.

The win puts La Vernia at 6-1 on the season, and gives them a perfect start to the district season. The Bears will now enjoy a week off, before returning to action Friday, Oct. 25, as they host the Poteet Aggies in La Vernia. Poteet is 1-6 on the season, and is coming off a 44-0 loss at Somerset.

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

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