Cardinals look to build on title
By Dave Rogers
For the Record
With its first district championship since 2002 in the bag, the Bridge City Cardinals have reason to celebrate 2016.
But they’re not looking to rest on their laurels.
“I thought last Friday we played maybe our most complete game of the year,” Cardinal coach Dwayne DuBois said of Bridge City’s 56-14 win over Huffman in the Nov. 4 regular-season finale.
“That doesn’t mean we’re playing as good as we can, but it does mean we’re peaking at the right time. You want to be playing your best football when you go into the playoffs.”
The post-season begins this weekend for all Orange County high school teams.
Bridge City, 7-2 on the year after going 5-0 in District 10-4A Division I, plays 6-4 Center at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Spendora’s Wildcat Stadium.
The Roughriders finished fourth in District 9-4A-I behind Kilgore, Henderson and Carthage.
“They did finish fourth in their district but they actually beat the first-place team (Kilgore),” DuBois said. “They’re a solid team.”
Center features a spread offense and a wide-open attack.
“They like to throw the ball around like Navasota, Huffman and Little Cypress-Mauriceville,” the coach said, ticking off a list of 10-4A teams vanquished by the Cards.
Bridge City scored four touchdowns in the second quarter en route to a 42-0 halftime lead over Huffman. Overall, the Cards ran for 396 yards and passed for 74 more.
Cayce Draper ran 19 times for 126 yards and a touchdown and Max Baker also topped the 100-yard barrier with 114 yards and a score on five carries. Quarterback Byron Trahan rushed for three short TDs and helped the offense by hitting 3 of 4 passes for 74 yards.
The Card defense held Huffman to 184 yards rushing and 120 yards through the air.
LC-M tackles 9-1 Henderson in bidistrict
If the playoffs were easy, everybody would play in them.
That’s how Little Cypress-Mauriceville has to look at its bidistrict game against 9-1 Henderson. Game time is 7:30 p.m. at Crockett’s Driskell Stadium.
The Lions are District 9-4A runnersup while LC-M, 5-5 overall, enters the post-season as 10-4A Division I’s third-place qualifier, going 3-2 in the league.
The Bears completed the regular season with a pulse-pounding 42-41 road win over Navasota in two overtimes Nov. 4.
“I was really pleased with our coaching, both offensively and defensively,” coach Randy Crouch said. “We were tackling better and offensively, doing some things.
“We can build on that. We have to, this week.”
Christopher Winters’ fourth touchdown of the game and the sixth PAT of the game by John Gonzalez provided the winning points for the Bears, but it was actually a defensive stop of a two-point play that ended the game.
The Rattlers had scored and kicked a game-tying PAT that figured to force a third overtime but elected to try for a two-point play instead because of an LC-M penalty on the play.
Winters rushed for 121 yards on 29 carries and teammate J’Lon Douglas carried 18 times for 114 yards and two scores. Quarterback Beau Bickham completed 16 of 31 passes for 204 yards, with Winters, Keegan Sonnier and Ronald Guillory snagging four catching four passes each.
Crouch says Henderson is similar to Navasota when it comes to athleticism.
“They have an outstanding quarterback and on defense, they’re pretty fast and move around real well,” Crouch said.
Bobcats hope to catch Saturday night fever
After falling by a 60-0 score to West Orange-Stark in their final regular-season game of the season, the Orangefield Bobcats are looking for a big turnaround in their playoff opener.
They face 8-2 Bellville in their Class 4A Division II bidistrict game Saturday at 6 p.m. at Texan Drive Stadium in Porter.
“They’ve got a fullback, Mac Brisco, who has rushed for 1,800 yards, and they were in the regional finals a year ago against West Orange-Stark, so they’ve got a lot of experience winning in the playoffs,” Bobcats coach Josh Smalley.
“But they run the same offense we do – the slot T – so we see it every day in practice. Also, while the team we play next is good, we just got through playing the No. 1 team in the state of Texas.”
Orangefield was limited to 57 total yards and top running back Christopher McGee was held to 15 yards on 16 carries by the Mustangs’ Chain Gang Defense.
But McGee should go over the 1,000-yard mark against Bellville.
Smalley also likes the fact his 5-5 team has an extra day to refuel from the WO-S game and prepare for the Brahmas.
“This is the first time Orangefield has ever been in the playoffs four straight years,” the coach noted. “And we’ve got a chance to go farther in the playoffs than ever, past the second round.
“Hopefully, we’ll get started Saturday night against a good Bellville team.”
Bidistrict Football playoffs
West Orange-Stark (10-0) vs. Tarkington (3-6, Fourth 11-4A), 7:30 p.m., Thomas Center, Beaumont, Class 4A Division II
Bridge City (7-2) vs. Center (6-4, Fourth-place 9-4A), 7:30 p.m., Wildcat Stadium, Splendora, Class 4A Division I
Little Cypress-Mauriceville (5-5) vs. Henderson (9-1, Runnerup 9-4A), 7:30 p.m., Driskell Stadium, Crockett, Class 4A Division I
Orangefield (5-5) vs. Bellville (8-2, Champ 11-4A) 6 p.m., Texan Drive Stadium, Porter, Class 4A Division II