After you clinch a playoff spot, you should be fired up, and I’m sure Coach Stump and his staff will have the Cardinals ready to go. The Cardinals will face the Coldspring Trojans in the first round of the playoffs in Huffman, Friday night.

The Redbirds, however were not pumped in the fashion they stamped their ticket into the playoffs. It came at the hands of a two point loss to the Orangefield Bobcats. The same could be said about the Bobcats. They took home the Buzzie Gunn trophy, but missed a chance at the playoffs by two points, as they defeated the Cardinals 28 – 26. For the fans, this game was fun to watch, and kept us on our feet most of the time.

The game started off with an 82-yard drive, that was finished with a two yard touchdown run from Casey Raley. Weston Crain kicked the point after, putting the Cat’s on the board first.

On Bridge City’s first drive, Bobcat Jeromey Watkin striped the ball from Matt Menard which led to a Ty Johnson 32 yard TD run. Crain’s second point after gave Orangefield a quick 14 point advantage. The Cardinals closed the gap with 7:34 left in the half. On a fourth and five, Menard found Jason Broussard, who made some nice moves to get in the end zone, with a 39 yard touchdown pass. Orangefield’s Logan Moss blocked the point after, bringing the score to 14-6. The Bobcats scored on their third consecutive drive, when they marched 68 yards down the field.  The drive was capped off with a five yard run from Quinton Evans. Crain’s PAT extended their led to 21-6. The Redbirds fought back on their third drive.

Menard highlighted the drive with a 47-yard run, and a five yard TD run. Devin Bertrand’s kick closed the gap again 21-13 with 5:22 left before the break. After the Cardinals forced a punt, they made it a one point game with a 26-yard touchdown pass from Menard to Cameron Dishon. After Bertrand’s point after the Cardinals trailed by one, 21-20 at half.

Mitchel Hubbard opened the third period with a nice return for the Cardinals, but it was canceled out by Orangefield’s Josh Shores. He intercepted a pass that halted Bridge City’s first drive of the second half. Orangefield made good of the pick with a one yard TD run by Evan Guidry.  The point after by Crain were the last points the Bobcats put on the board.

The next three possessions ended up in turnovers, which brought us to the end of the third quarter with the Card’s trailing by one. With 7:02 left in the game Dishon raced for 63 yards to pull the Cardinals within two. The Cardinals lined up for a two point conversion, but they were not successful, leaving the scoreboard showing our final score of 28-26. The Bobcats attempted a field goal that would of put them in the playoffs, and left the Cardinals out, but it was unsuccessful. With 2:40 left on the clock, the Cardinals had one final chance to take the game. Menard hit Tyler Roberts with a 30-yard reception. Menard then had a big run that took the ball inside the 10-yard line, but a costly holding call brought the ball back. The penalty took the Cardinals out of field goal range. With a third and six on the 31 yard line, Orangefield’s Quinton Evan stepped in front of Menard pass to seal the deal.

It was a fun and entertaining game to watch, with everyone leaving with mix emotions. We finally received some football weather, and the crowd was great. The teams put on a show well worth the four dollar fee to get in. Not only was the game good, but the halftime show did not  disappoint. The cheerleaders were pumped, the band sounded great, and how about those Strutters?

Menard was 6 for 16 in the passing department for 170 yards with three interceptions. He also led the Cardinals in the rushing department with 21 carries for 122 yards. Dishon was a close second with 8 carries for 109 yards. Hunter Clark had two carries for five yard and Roberts had one carry for two yards. Broussard led the receivers with four catches for 114 yards. Roberts had one catch for 30 yards, and Dishon one catch for 26 yards.

Every season starts with the same goal of getting to play some extra ball in November. The Cardinals have achieved that, and will travel to Huffman to take on a good Coldsprings team. Let’s bundle up and make the trip to support the Cardinals. Hope to see you at the game.