All winners in Bayou Bowl X
There were no losers only winners in Bayou Bowl X. The Bridge City Cardinals and the Orangefield Bobcats squared off in Larry Ward Stadium for one of the most exciting football games in recent history.
In the end it would be the Cardinals who claimed the ‘Buzzy Gunn Trophy’ after Cardinal head coach Cris Stump gambled on a two point conversion in overtime that put BC ahead by one point to win 31-30.
In rutted mud at midfield, Dr. Fred Zoch representing the Bridge City-Orangefield Rotary Club, presented Coach Stump and the Cardinals with the trophy in post game festivities. In addition a senior football player from each team will receive a $1,000 scholarship from the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce. The scholarships are funded by the Bayou Bowl Scholarship Banquet held Monday prior to the contest.
A victory seemed sealed for Orangefield who led 23-0 late in the third quarter until Bridge City lit up the scoreboard with 23 unanswered points in the final 10 minutes of the game- most of it behind the power running of sophomore running back Matt Menard who rolled up 159 yards on 29 carries and a touchdown.
To win it the Cardinal drove to the 14 -yard line where quarterback Josh Lemoine rambled across the goal line to tie the Bobcats 30-30. Coach Stump went to sophomore Menard who drove it in for the two point conversion and the celebration began.
It was a heartbreaking ending for the Orangefield Bobcats who came out slugging in Bayou Bowl X. Running back Quinton Evans scored two of his three touchdowns in the first half.
The Bobcats scored on their first drive of the game marching 64 yards on 12 plays that was capped off when Evans broke loose for a 26 yard touchdown. Senior quarterback Corey Huckabay punched in the two point conversion for an early 8-0 lead over Big Red. With just over a minute left in the first half Evans slipped through the Cardinal defense for 37 yards and his second touchdown. This time Bobcat Head Coach Brian Huckabay chose fullback Evan Guidry to run in the two point conversion for a 16-0 lead going into halftime.
After the break Orangefield engineered another scoring drive in the third quarter. Ryan Cook scored form the three yard line with 9:34 left. But the tide began to change in Bayou Bowl X.
The Cardinals took control and drove to the Bobcat two yard line. Menard scored and Lemoine scampered across for the two point conversion.
Behind 23-8 in the fourth quarter, Cardinal quarterback Lemoine hit receiver Luke Rhodes in the endzone from the 11 yard line and Big Red narrowed the gap, 23-15 after Devin Bertrands PAT.
In the final period the Bridge City defense refused to allow Orangefield productive running room and Dakota Risinger blocked a 44 yard field goal attempt as the clock ticked down.
Down by 8 points with 4:11 left in the game the Cardinals drove from the Bobcat 43 yard line to score. Menard ripped off runs of 17 and 26 in the drive and crossed the goal line from the 14 yard marker with 1:17 left in the game. Menard then evened the score 23-23 with a successful two point conversion.
Both teams took the Bayou Bowl battle into overtime with Orangefield scoring first when Quinton Evans crossed the goal line for his third TD of the evening. Derrick Evans split the cross bar for a 30-23 lead.
The Cardinals answered as Lemoine ran it in from the 14 yard line and Menard’s two point conversion suddenly ended Bayou Bowl X, 31-30.
The victory secured a third place playoff spot for Bridge City (6-3, 2-2) pending Friday night’s game against Hamshire-Fannett. The Bobcats (4-5, 1-3) host West Orange-Stark for their season finale Friday night. Hamshire-Fannette and Orangefield could change the playoff picture with victories Friday night.
Menard was the leading rusher in Bayou Bowl X. Lemoine followed with 81 yards on 13 carries. Quinton Evans led the Bobcat rushing with 112 yards on 9 carries. Corey Huckabay added 88 yards on 19 carries.
See the upcoming issue of The Record newspapers for photos, highlights and commentary.