We are hitting the final stretch of the season this week and local are football teams are involved in district clashes across the board. For some squads, the battle for playoff leverage is still unclear as momentum shifts back and forth with each win or loss posted.

The Bridge City Cardinals (3-4, 2-1) come into their Homecoming week undoubtedly still excited about the 30-0 district victory over Hamshire-Fannett last Friday. This was a much needed win as the Cards’ have rivals who are also closing in on the few slots available. Sure, the Longhorns weren’t exactly the marquee opponent Bridge City still has to face in the coming weeks, but make no mistake about the importance of this victory as it keeps them in the hunt with other teams like Orangefield stumbling in their last contest.

Coach Stump and the crew handled the Longhorns all game long, in all three phases of the game and eventually held on to the shut-out when all was said and done. Other than penalties and lost fumble, the Cardinals delivered a well-balanced performance that left Hamshire-Fannett with no answers.

Ashton Hunter carried a large portion of the workload, smashing the Longhorn defense to the tune of 130 yards on 25 attempts. Hunter didn’t find the end zone, but he didn’t need too because quarterback Daniel Faulk would come through in the air and on the ground to deliver the win for Bridge City offensively. Faulk found wide receiver Tanner Cervenka two times and ran in a third one. The Defense was an obvious factor in this one holding the opponent to zero, scoring on a blocked punt and forcing a safety. The Cardinals will host Hardin-Jefferson this Friday at 7 p.m. in another pivotal district match-up.

The Orangefield Bobcats (2-5, 2-2)  took a district loss against the West Orange-Stark Mustangs (7-0, 2-0) last week 54-0, giving WOS command of their own playoff destiny as the Bobcats find themselves back in the middle of the pack with their district record split. Orangefield finds itself in a position where it might have to win out in order to grab a spot, with only Buna and Bridge City standing in the way after their off week. Coach Josh Smalley knows what’s at stake and know that his team is still in it, which is why this bye could be right on time as he gets his crew prepared for the final leg of this race. They’ll face Buna on at 7 p.m. on Nov. 2.

Coach Thompson and the Mustangs are clearing a large path to the post-season, and have done so in style holding five of their seven opponents to zero points, with only three games left on their schedule. There is a good chance they have another shut-out or two left in them and the Mustangs have a really good chance of remaining undefeated by the time the smoke clears.

Last week, in their win over Orangefield, the Mustangs had a masterful performance scoring seven times. It’s been Jimmy Salter and J’Marcus Rhodes all year as they chalk up another win. The Mustangs are going to hit the road this Friday and face the Buna Cougars at 7 p.m. on Friday. There is no doubt that they will be ready, with their collective eyes set on the prize.

The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears (3-4, 2-2) got another win under their belt last week on the road against the Ozen Panthers 21-15. Texas A&M commit, Alex Setzer lead the way with 183 yards on 34 carries with a touchdown to go with it. It was needed badly and it’s evident by the constant shifting of the district standings. With Orangefield falling back and Bridge City surging forward, Coach Crouch and the Battlin’ Bears would hate to see that 1-3 district hole late in the season, with not much chance to bounce back. Coach Crouch and the Bears will host Lumberton at 7:30 p.m. this Friday.

The Vidor Pirates (6-1, 3-1) beat Beaumont Central 40 -21. The Pirates will host PN-G at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.

Be sure to show up and support your respective teams as the playoff battles heat up with more district match-ups this week and throughout the remainder of the year.

Bridge City Cardinal runningback Ashton Hunter rambles through Hamshire Fannett defenders to win the district outing 30-0. RECORD PHOTO: Mark DunnLCM Bear defensive players #7 Teondre Gant, #59 Matthew Chitty and a host of others makes a stop on Ozen’s running back. Photo: Ty Manuel