With Silsbee ‘passed,’ Cards eye Rattlers
By Dave Rogers
For the Record
The Bridge City Cardinals survived the frying pan in fine fashion. Now, they’ll play with fire.
Navasota, a new opponent for the Cardinals in District 10-4A Division I, has won two state football titles in the past four years – the 2012 Class 3A Division II title and the 2014 Class 4A Division I crown.
The Rattlers are 2-1 in district.
But they’re 2-6 for the season, having started 0-5. In district, they’ve beaten Huffman and Cleveland and lost to Silsbee.
Of course, 5-2 Bridge City is riding a three-game win streak capped by a last-second 42-41 win over Silsbee in a battle for first place in district.
“We talk to our kids all the time about not overlooking anyone, that anybody can beat anyone,” Cardinals coach Dwayne DuBois said.
“Who in their right mind would have given SMU a chance to beat Houston last week? It happens. In high school, too.”
DuBois says that old NFL cliche, parity, is at work in 10-4A.
“In our district right now, all the teams are evenly matched, so anybody can beat anybody on any given week,” he said. “You don’t have a chance to look ahead.”
Oh, but who in red and white can help looking back to Friday night?
The Cardinals, who average attempting fewer than a half-dozen passes a game and sometimes don’t complete any, beat Silsbee 42-41 on a 40-yard pass from Byron Trahan to Hunter Denton with 35 seconds left.
And that came after falling behind 41-35 with 2:11 to go.
And just before Silsbee zoomed into field goal position and missed a 35-yard try as time expired.
“Beating a team like Silsbee, one that’s kind of been our nemesis the last few years, gives us confidence we can play with anybody,” DuBois said Tuesday.
Confidence in the passing game has been there all along, the coach said.
“I’ve told everybody I’m not opposed to throwing the ball. We work on it. It’s just not what we do on a consistent basis,” DuBois said.
In fact, Bridge City rushed 59 times for 438 yards against Silsbee. Cayce Draper led the way with 20 carries for 163 yards and a touchdown. Denton rushed for 93 yards and a score and the duo of Max Baker and Patrick Morris each ran for 90 yards and a score.
“Passing is part of our game just like running is,” DuBois said. “We just haven’t had to do it a lot this season. But yeah, it happened at the right time the other night.”
The second-year BC coach said his team practices a two-minute drill but there’s no set play list.
“You study film, you get tendencies, you work on things during the week. But when you get into the game as a playcaller, there’s a flow and rhythm. There’s a feel to it,” the coach said.
“Sometimes you take a shot and miss. It just happened to work then. I don’t think people thought we were going to rise up and throw the ball at that time.
“There was a little element of surprise right there.”