The Cardinals extended their winning streak to three games with a 41-13 victory over the Kelly Bulldogs Friday night. Their offensive production leader was the Cardinals’ running back Hunter Clark. He slashed through the Bulldogs’ defense for 200 yards, including two long runs of 44 and 33 yards. To go along with his 200 yards rushing, Clark punched his long run into the end zone for six points. Not enough credit can be given to Bridge City’s offensive line. They were the foundation for the offense compiling over 400 total yards on the ground. Once again the Cardinal defense was impressive. Every effort Kelly made to move the ball was met by a flock of Cardinals flying to the football.
Matt Menard scored his first of three touchdowns in the first quarter on a 10 yard run. Devin Bertrand put Bridge City up 7-0 with 2:38 left in the first quarter. Bridge City defensive lineman Cameron Coulter provided the fireworks of the opening quarter when he put an end to Kelly’s threat to put points on the board.
Coulter made a fantastic juggling interception that swung the momentum in the Cardinals’ favor. Hunter Clark showcased his impressive speed in the second quarter on his 44 yard touchdown run. A botched extra point put the Cardinals up 13-0 in the second quarter. Kelly answered the score with a 49 yard dash by Kelly running back Nick Barber, but Shane Stankus stuffed their two point conversion on a quarterback sack. On fourth and inches late in the second quarter, Menard took an unfamiliar spot from his usual shotgun position when he went under center for the Cardinal offense. His initial effort was stopped, but the Kelly Bulldogs failed to realize it takes more than one person to take Menard down. His second effort proved to be enough to pick up the first down. He then punched in the Cardinals’ third score on an 8 yard touchdown run. After Bertrand’s PAT the score was 20-6 in favor of the Cardinals, and that’s the score they took into the locker room.
Bridge City kicked off the second half with their version of the Wildcat offense. Cameron Dishon took the snap on the first play and showed how he is one of the fastest people on the gridiron. He sprinted 61 yards for his first touchdown of two for the day. Kelly was down 27-6, after Bertrand’s point, when they got the ball for the first time of the second half, which led to a sense of urgency in their offense. Their efforts to pass the ball were quickly stopped by the Bridge City secondary. Colby Carpenter intercepted his first pass of the day on Kelly’s first drive of the second half.
Kelly scored their last points of the game with 4:40 left in the third quarter. Starting quarterback Dakota Eddins was shaken up, and backup Will Darling entered the ball game. Darling hit Nick Schrapps in the corner of the end zone to make the score 27-13, which was how the third quarter ended.
With 10:46 left in the fourth quarter Menard barreled in for an 11 yard TD run, and Bertrand’s kick made it a 34-13 score. The game was put away with Carpenter’s second pick of the game. Carpenter picked Eddins’s pass off and made a nice run weaving through the Kelly defenders. When the play was over there were three Bulldogs lying on the turf. The next play, Dishon took the snap and ran around the end for a 34 yard TD run. With Bertrand’s extra point, the score was 41-13 with 2:57 left in the game. Tyler Roberts worked the tip drill to perfection with the Cardinals’ fourth pick of the game when he snagged Eddins’s pass on their next possession to seal the game. With 1:24 in the game the Cardinals took a knee and ran the clock out.
The Redbirds ended up with 416 yards of offense. Along with Clark’s 200 yards rushing, Dishon added 120 yards on the ground. Menard had 92 yards, and Mitchel Hubbard had 1 run for 7 yards. Menard completed one pass to Jason Broussard for 10 yards. Hubbard had two kickoff returns for 13 and 17 yards, and Menard had one for 25 yards.
Once again the band was wonderful, the cheerleaders kept us going, and how about those Strutters? Bridge City’s speed and strength on both offense and defense has proved to be overwhelming for their three opponents this year. They are chomping at the bit for the showdown next week with the Kirbyville Wildcats. Kirbyville is also 3-0, and have won all of their games in impressive fashion. Kirbyville’s speed and strength will be a great test for Bridge City. Bridge City looks to continue their dominance this weekend, so let’s take a trip up north to support our Cardinals.