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Game Highlights for the 1997 
Trezevant  Bears
Regular Season **The Play-offs**....
Season Synopsis back to the Bear Den
Game 1 .6-30 (L) at  Germantown 0-1 The Germantown Red Devils
Game 2 14- 0 (W) at East High 1-1 1-0 The East High Mustangs
Game 3 .8-22 (L) at West Memphis 1-2 The West Memphis Blue Devils
Game 4 36-14 (W) at Raleigh-Egypt 2-2 2-0 The Raleigh-Egypt Pharaohs
Game 5  8-22 (L) at T.L. Weston (MS) 2-3 T.L. Weston Screaming Eagles
Game 6  0-18 (L) at Fairley 2-4 2-1 Fairley Bulldogs
Game 7 54-0 (W) Southside 3-4 3-1 South Side Scrappers
Game 8 24-6 (W) Northside   (Home Coming) 4-4 4-1 North Side Cougars
Game 9 21-6 (W) Wooddale 5-4 5-1 Wooddale Cardinals
Game 10 30-14 (W) Craigmont 6-4 6-1 Craigmont

 State Play-offs:
. Round #1
Nov 7         Jackson North Side (7-3)  at Greenhill Stadium
  Round #2
Nov 14      at Dyersburg Trojans (11-0)   at Dyersburg, Tn. (Map-use the zoom button)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Season Opener at the Germantown Red Devils:
  A very young and inexperienced Trezevant squad aims high as they tackle the Germantown Red Devils in the season opener for both teams.  The Red Devils had not lost a regular season game in two years.  Trezevant will have the advantage (poundage-wize) across the line of scrimmage in most all of its games this year.  The problem is most of the fledgling monsters are "Ninth and Tenth graders" says second year Head Coach Lynn Lang. Many have never played football before.  Despite the size advantage, the overall youth and inexperience of the Bears is a formidable obstacle.
  Trezevant's youth showed early and often and by half time had more penalties and turnovers than yards.  The Score was 24-0.  Germantown scored on a seven-plus minute drive to begin the second half.  Then the Bears started to grow up a little as they refused to roll over and scrapped back hard outscoring Germantown 6-0 the rest of the way.  The momentum would carry over to the next game.

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at East High Mustangs:
  The Trezevant Bears popped two long runs early in the second quarter as Tailback Tymel (T.J.) Tipton ran wild against the Mustangs.  By mid second quarter the score was 14-0 and Tipton was approaching the 100 yard mark when he went down with what turned out to be a  fairly serious ankle sprain.  He did not return in the game and the Bear's offense suffered, not scoring again.
  But Head Coach Lynn Lang's defense proved too tough and despite occasionally giving up big chunks of yardage, kept the Mustangs corralled.  The 14-0 shutout despite a less than desirable effort was seen as a building block by the coaching staff as the Bears prepare to cross the mighty Mississippi River and tackle their second set of "Devils" in two weeks.

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at West Memphis (AR) Blue Devils:
  The Bears scored on their first possession on a 39 yard scamper by Senior quarterback Corey Young and the Blue Devils appeared to be in for a battle as the Bears looked strong out of the gate.  However, despite multiple opportunities and several close calls, the Bears would not score again.
  Even more distressing was the fact that the smaller Blue Devils would amass over 300 yards rushing with three different backs topping the century mark.  Only the second goalie stand in as many weeks by the Bears prevented the Blue Devils from running away with the game as they won 22-8.      The Bears agonizingly got inside the Blue Devils 20 yard line four times and failed to come away with a single point.  Again, too many penalties and turnovers proved the undoing of the young Bears.
  The loss eclipsed a stellar performance by defensive Defensive Guard Derrick Hendree who was a constant presence in the Blue Devil backfield.  "He played like a man tonight," said first year coach Joe Hutchison.

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at Raleigh-Egypt:
  The Bears got the chance to get back on the winning track and keep intact their undefeated Divisional W-L record as they traveled to Raleigh-Egypt to face the Pharaohs.  Trezevant kept up its quick strike style and had the outsized pharaohs down 12-0 before the folks in the stands could get comfortable in their seats.  But the youthful Bears went into their mid-game offensive lull yet again and by the third quarter the Pharaohs had pulled ahead 14-12 on the strength of two converted PAT kicks.
  With ten minutes to play in the contest the Bears regained the lead 20-14 with a nice half-the-field TD pass from Corey Young to Lance Rooks.  On the ensuing kick-off, however, the Pharaoh appeared to steal the lead back when they returned the kick-off for a touchdown.  But a clipping penalty brought the ball back out to the Bear 35 yard line where the bears held on four downs.  Then something happened.
  Trezevant assumed control of the game with a fury marching down the field both on the ground and through the air scoring a touchdown and a two point conversion on its next three possessions while milking the clock down.  In the onslaught Young threw another deep TD pass and Carl Cunningham, running in place of injured T.J. Tipton, ran through the Pharaoh defense like a bull through a china shop, twisting and spinning and running through would-be tacklers at will.
  Nose Guard Derrick "Porkchop" Hendree had another big game for the bears and newcomer Leo Dupree proved an inside force as well.
  The final score was 36-14 but of more importance the Bears now seem to have three competent running backs (Tipton is set to return next week) and a deep threat quarterback as well.  They will need both as the travel to Mississippi to take on traditional state power T.L. Weston, Head Coach Lynn Lang's alma mater.
  The Bears pulled their W-L record even at 2-2 (2-0 in their division) and look ready to stake claim to a winning season with their last non conference game of the season.
  To quote coach Lang, "It's on now partner!"

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at T.L. Weston Screaming Eagles (Greenville, MS):
9/26/97
. . . see above concerning turnovers, penalties, inexperience, and missed opportunities, then cut and paste here.  While you're at it copy the West Memphis score too.  In a game pattern the coaching staff has agonized over all season, the Bears four times drove the ball deep into Eagle territory without drawing a single point.  And yet again the Bear's misfortunes were entirely self inflicted.  Multiple penalties led the way as head coach Lynn Lang's Bears had two long touchdowns called back and two other long gains negated as the Bears fell 22-8.   The Bear defense was particularly tough but several key defensive blows via the flag and a generous offense kept the Eagles well supplied of Bear meat.  Despite the barrage of knotted cloth on the field  the Bear coaching staff was quick to quell any mention of inequity.
  "There's no doubt about it, the fouls were committed and they cost us this game.  It has to be disheartening for these young players to lose these tough games that way.  But this one really hurt.  We know we're the better team and we wanted to prove it.  We came in to their backyard and talked the talk, but we 'show didn't walk the walk.  We played 'em tough, but, we didn't shoot ourselves in the foot . . . we blew both our feet off.  But these kids never quit and they get better every week, and that keeps me excited.  When we learn how to win, we're going to be a very dangerous football team around playoff time."
  The Bears have been the road warriors so far this season, playing four of their first five games on the road.  But the 2-3 Bears will be at home four of their last five contests and will wear their highly preferred purple shirts.
  "We're undefeated in our purple jerseys, undefeated at home, and undefeated in our division.  We intend to keep it that way."
  The Bears still control their own destiny and have their sights set on a Divisional title and an automatic TSSAA Play Off birth.  They square off against Division front-runner Fairly next.

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at Fairley Bulldogs (at Greenhill Stadium):
10/3/97
  Starting QB Corey Young missed the entire week of practice and it showed as the Bears entered the Fairley red zone only once and proceeded as usual to promptly turn the ball over.
  Fairley scored with less than a minute to go in the first half on a forth and fifteen pass play.  They then scored on a long running play early in the second half and that was all it took as the Bear offense looked woeful for the first time this season.  Despite the gut wrenching 18-0 loss, the Bears still control their own destiny and still have their sights set on a playoff birth . . .

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at Southside Scrappers:
10/10/97
  The Bears scored early and often as they completely out-classed Southside 54-0.  Southside never threatened to score and Trezevant didn't even attempt a pass until their final play from scrimmage.
  Senior Tailback/Linebacker Carl Cunningham, Jr. has emerged as the premier run threat for the Bears as he scored three touchdowns in a game for the second time this season.  The Bears rushing attack rolled up over 400 yards in the one sided affair.
  There's no place like home as the Bears ended their season-opening six game road trip with their first home game of the season.  Trezevant's final four games are at home.

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Northside (HomeComing) at Greenhill stadium:
10/17/97
   The Bear's running game continues to flourish as they pounded out another win 24-6 over Northside.  Carl Cunningham Jr. led the way once again as the Bears conquered their neighborhood rival on Homecoming night in front of their biggest crowd of the season.

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Wooddale Cardinals
10/24/97
     Trezevant powered the ball at Wooddale despite the Cardinals attempts to stop the run.  Wooddale regularly stacked 8, 9, even 10 men in the box in an effort to stop the run, to no avail.  The Bears controlled the line of scrimmage and only their now regular rash of self destuction in the red zone prevented a more lopsided score.  With the win the Bears secured a spot in the play-offs, guaranteeing themselves a seeding no worse than third.  The victory also set up a showdown with Craigmont in the season finale for both teams.  The winner of that game will finish second in the Division and get a play-off game at home, finishing with a 6-4 record.  The loser drops to 5-5.  If the Bears lose, the start the post season on the road.  If Craigmont loses they get entangled in a real scrap for a play-off berth with East and Raleigh-Egypt.  It all makes for a night of post season atmosphere staged on Halloween night.  Be there (Raliegh-Egypt Field, 7:30 PM).

Here's a map how to get there
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Craigmont:
10/31/97
     Showtime!
Craigmont scored on its first two possessions, both long drives featuring the running game.  And then "it finally happened," according to assistant coach Joe Hutchison, "we finally became a good football team."  Sticking with the power running game even in the face of adversity, the Bears ran the ball down Craigmont's throat ripping off 30 unanswered points.  Senior Tailback Carl Cunningham ran for 152 yards on 25 carries leading the ground assault which amassed 249 yards rushing on the night.  But for the first time this season the Bears had multiple heroes.
    "I'm so proud of our linemen I could bust," beamed coach Hutchison.  "Our extensive conditioning paid off tonight."  Indeed it did.  The offensive line ran up to the line of scrimmage all night and flat blew Craigmont of the line.  Stellar performances were turned in by many Bears on this night.  Carl Carter, Christian Patterson, Anthony "Cowboy" Willis, Albert Means, and Jason Nickolas led the Offensive Line Charge while Defensive specialists Derrick "Porkchop" Hendree, Travis Hall, LBs Carl Cunningham and Wendall Williams, and defensive end Terrance Leonard (3 fumble recoveries) led the defensive assault.  It was a total team effort.
    The Bears have won their last four games and appear to be peaking at just the right time for the play-offs. Trezevant opens its post season at home Nov. 6 at Greenhill Stadium against Jackson North Side (7-3 Region 7, 4A).  Be there as the Bears "second season" gets under way at 7:30 PM.

click here for a map to the game
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State Playoffs  NOV 7 Greenhill Stadium
-- ---VS Jackson North Side Indians (7-3, Region 7 4A)
.
       Jackson North Side had won six games in a row.  They came out on their opening drive and consumed most of the first quarter settling for a field goal.  It would take a blown call on a roughing the kicker penalty to spur them to the end zone again.  In the mean time Trezevant quarterback Corey Young found WR Lance Rooks for a 78 yard TD pass in the final minute of the first half for a 16-3 half time lead.  Then late in the third quarter North Side took advantage of the bad call to drive down the field and cut the score to 16-9.  Back to work Young and Rooks went connecting on a 39 yard TD pass on 4th and 12 to reopen the gap and close out the Indians 22-9. The two TD passes were the only receptions in the game for Rooks.  Young finished 3 of 4 for 160 yards and no interceptions.
    In the game Carl Cunningham Jr. continued his outstanding two-way play.  Cunningham had 152 yards on 13 carries and also scored a pair of two point conversions.  Defensively, Cunningham had 12 tackles (10 solo) and recovered a fumble.
    In an article in the Comical Apple (the local-yocal rag), much ado was made about the Indians six game winning streak and the Bears were given little chance to win.  I guess that's why they go ahead and make them play the game.  The paper reversed itself by promptly ranking the Bears #10 among large schools the following week.
    Next stop:  Dyersburg (11-0) in the second round.

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Round #2:
at Dyersburg Trojans (11-0):
 TSSAA Round #2 Division AAAA (4A) Play-offs
at Dyersburg Trojans
Dyersburg 21 Trezevant 14
    The Bears won the opening kickoff and came out in their "Spread Formation" for the first time this season.  It appeared to catch the Golden Trojans off guard as the Bears marched down the field.  But the drive stalled at the Trojan 30 yard line so on fourth down and twenty the Bears threw their first pass.  What a beauty it was.  An over the shoulder 30 yard Touchdown strike from Corey Young to wide-out/safety Larry Lurry.  Despite a 15 yard penalty for celebration, the Bears opted to pass for the 2 point 18 yard conversion.  Trezevant had the early 6-0 lead.  The Bears recovered the ensuing kick off but could not capitalize.
    The rest of the first half was a defensive coach's dream as both defenses kept the opposing offenses shut down with some very hard hitting and spirited play.  Apparently Trezevant Head Coach Lynn Lang had been misquoted in the local Dyersburg paper and free copies were distributed to "fire up the boys."  It didn't seem to bother Coach Lang.  "I love it when the other team is up for us, then there can be no excuses."  Dyersburg used a 38 yard punt return to set up a late score and took a 7-6 lead into the locker room.
    The hard hitting continued through the third quarter as Dyersburg painstakingly pushed their lead to 14-6.  Then the lights went out . . . literally.  With 2:38 left in the 3rd quarter, the overhead lights failed.  Both teams returned to the locker rooms and were informed a transformer had shorted out and would require replacing and there was some wire damage as well--not a small problem in a small town on a Friday night at 9:00 PM.  Give credit where it is due:  55 minutes later, play resumed.  But it would be a different game.
    The Bears came out of the second break in their Spread Formation again for the first time since the opening drive.  But this time there was no QB in the back field . . . only TB Carl Cunningham.  Again the strategy worked until the Bears reached the red zone, then again it fizzled.  Yet again the Bears faced a fourth and goal, this time from the 18 yard line.  Young then connected with TE LeShaun Eiland on a beautiful catch in the end zone.  Cunningham's now routine two point conversion run tied the score at 14-14.  It would be the last running play for Trezevant who now featured the pass exclusively for the remaining nine minutes.
    But it was Dyersburg who mounted the next challenge intercepting an errant pass and using but three minutes to drive the ball down the field.  The Trojans busted the game winner up the middle for a 22 yard TD run with 5:57 left.  They threatened to put the game out of reach with 1:56 left but a 42 yard field goal was just short falling in front of the crossbar.  The Bears took over at the 25 yard line.  On second down Lurry's attempt at another spectacular over-the-shoulder catch at Dyersburg's 45 yard line would leave dreams unfulfilled.  Downs three and four would lead to game ending sacks.
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Season Synopsis

    The Season began with the Trezevant Bears entering Head Coach Lynn Lang's second year of leadership.  In his first year at the helm, the Bears limped to a 5-5 record and were rudely dispatched in the first round.  Year number two began in the spring with Lang recruiting hard within the school for "stand out" players.  Several key finds were made.  The momentum of a good spring carried over to the fall opener against Germantown.
    The Bears roster neared 60 players in the beginning, but Lang's rough and tumble philosophy eventually weeded out all the "sissies."  By season end the roster was at a lean, mean 43 contributors.  These numbers might not seem odd if not for the extraordinary number of "first timers."  With more than half the roster having never played high school football before, the Bears were very inexperienced, and it would show.
    To be the man, you have to beat the man.  To beat the man, you have to play the man.  Coach Lang's teams will play the man.  The Bears finished 7-5, 6-1 in TSSAA 4A (Reg 8), good enough for second place in the division and a home playoff game against Jackson North Side and then a second round berth against undefeated Dyersburg.  But the 7-5 mark was really a tale of two seasons.  Of the Bears 12 opponents, 8 made the play offs, with a ninth team eliminated from post season by the Bears in the regular season finale.
    The Bears stumbled and bumbled out of the gate, posting an early mark of 2 wins and 4 losses.  In all 4 losses the Bears followed the same script.  Penalties, turnovers, and blown opportunities in the red zone left the Bears on the short end more times than not, despite often outplaying their opponent.  In the Germantown opener, the Bears fell behind 30-0 early in the third quarter before pulling together to stop the bleeding and managed to retain their pride with a hard fought 6-0 second half "moral" victory.  This after a 0-0 "moral victory" against undefeated Melrose (Melrose had spanked the Bears the previous year) in the Pre Season Jamboree.  Despite continued miscues on offense, the Bears would not yield more than 22 points in a game the rest of the year.  Still, the inexperienced offense continued to self destruct in the open, run and gun, sophisticated offense scheme.  Then, after losing a heartbreaker to T.L. Weston (MS) coach Lang made his move.  Almost over night the Bears switched to a Power I running formation, simplifying the offensive scheme and utilizing some key moves and personnel.  Inside Linebacker workhorses Carl Cunningham Jr. and Wendall Williams were assigned to the offensive backfield.  This move helped solidify the running corps decimated by the absence of injured Scatback Tymel "T.J." Tipton who would later come back as a Wide Receiver and part time Tailback.  The power running game also took advantage of the offensive line that averaged nearly 300 pounds a man but was so youthful.  Also Fullback James Valentine began to get more carries.  The move paid off as Trezevant reeled off five straight convincing victories.
    In the end though this complete and total departure from the passing game would hurt the Bears against undefeated Dyersburg in the second round of the play offs.  Forced to pass in the final quarter the Bears reverted to their early season antics with repeated penalties for illegal formations hampering the comeback attempt.  The pass blocking inefficiency would rear its ugly head too as the Bears final two offensive plays of the season would end in sacks.
    The Bears have a lot to look forward to as they prepare for next season's opener--again at Germantown.  The Bears are just as big as ever, but many of these novices now have a year of play under their belts.  And with the success of this season, even more people are expected to come out next spring and fall.  The Bears lost very few players to graduation, but they were in key positions.  QB Corey Young.  Linebacker/TB Carl Cunningham and TB Tymel Tipton will likewise be tough to replace.  Defensive Nose Guard Derrick "Porkchop" Hendree will also be sorely missed.
    If the Bears can fill these key gaps, they will be a good team again.  If they continue to progress down the path laid out by coach Lang, improving with every year--every game, they will be a good team.  If they learn to more effectively mix the pass with the run, they will be a great team.  Be sure to come back next year to The Trezevant Bear Den and keep track of the Bears.  To quote Head Coach Lynn Lang, "It's on now baby!"

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