The Bridge City Cardinals (4-1, 1-0) aren’t phased by their “underdog” status as they prepare to go on the road with a shot at knocking off the Silsbee Tigers, Friday night. Big Red has become accustomed to winning especially after knocking down their first District. 21-3A opponent, Hardin-Jefferson Hawks 20-10 in last week’s mud match.

It’s a tough district and Silsbee is in it. The news of Silsbee’s 13-7 defeat of the WO-S Mustangs spread like “the shot heard round the world.” There was good news and not as good news. It was discovered that the Mustangs could be beat but Silsbee was next on the Cardinal schedule.

It is the kind of thing BCISD Superintendent Jamey Harrison would call “an opportunity.” And he would be right.

There is plenty of room for optimism in Camp Cardinal where young players got their experience by putting together five big wins. Neither Bridge City or Silsbee has won this one yet. A victory for the Cardinals would go a long way as Big Red begins paving a path through District. 21-3A.

And besides, that win over the Mustangs was less than impressive for either top contender. Both are lucky they didn’t have to play the Bridge City Cardinals in the mud last week.

Under sheets of rain Cardinal sophomore running back Matt Menard splashed across Larry Ward Stadium for 118 muddy yards and one TD in Big Reds victory over HJ.  Menard helped give the Cardinals a fourth quarter come from behind lead after trailing 10-0 at the half.

The fourth quarter seven play drive marched 96 yards set in motion by Menard who trudged  47 yards to mid-field on the first play. It ended when he plunged across the goal line from the 2-yard line.

Senior quarterback Josh Lemoine found receiver Luke Rhodes in the end zone for the two point conversion and Big Red was on top for the first time in the game 14-10.

Cardinal sophomore Cameron Dishon added two more touchdowns to his growing collection of  12  already this season. Lemoine combined with Dishon for the Cardinal’s first score in the third quarter. On a fourth and seven from the 10 yard line Lemoine rolled out to find Dishon open in the end zone. The PAT was blocked.

As the clock ticked down Dishon struck again, this time from the defensive secondary, picking off a HJ pass and in trademark style carried it 96 yards for a TD and the 20-10 district victory.

The Cardinals collected 133 yards rushing almost all of it Menard.

Lemoine passed for 62 yards and a touchdown and trounced through more than his share of mud.

With a little opportunity the Cardinals could be hazardous for Silsbee. The Cardinal defense is big on turnovers and big on big plays. And don’t like to give up points. They produced four turnovers, three from fumbles, against HJ.

A first glance at Silsbee show that their 1-4, 1-0 record this season is deceptive. After defeating Houston Davis 57-13 in their season opener, the Tigers lost the next four in a roll before defeating WO-S. Their opponents, however, where Dibol 49-35, Lumberton 20-14, Newton 21-20, and Jasper 24-20. 

The Cardinal defense will be gunning for Tiger quarterback Jeremy Johnson. Johnson rushed for 63 yards and two touchdowns with 85 yards passing in the mud against the Mustang ‘Chain Gang’ defense.

Longtime Silsbee Head Coach Bobby McGallion is a true gentleman of the game. A former Tiger himself, be assured that the Maroon and White will be ready to play. If the Cardinals get any “opportunity” they better capitalize on it to win.