The Bridge City Cardinals (6-2 2-1) will host the Hamshire-Fannet Longhorns (2-6, 1-2) on Friday with just two games remaining in regular season before the playoffs begin.

If you did not take the trip to Dan R. Hooks Stadium last Friday, you sure missed a heavy weight bout. The Cardinals and the West Orange-Stark Mustangs (5-3 3-0) went toe-to-toe for 48 minutes. The game saw six lead changes with the Mustangs coming out on top 21-16.

The Cardinals took the first swing with an 81 yard touchdown pass from Matt Menard to Cameron Dishon, who had a great run after the catch, on the first play of the game. After a failed point after the Cardinals jumped out to a 6-0 lead with 11:40 left in the first quarter.

The next possession for each team ended in a punt, but the Cardinals punt did not go to well. WO-S Quinton Tezeno returned the punt for a score, and with the point after the Stangs took the lead 7-6 with 7:28 left in the quarter. With 3:39 still left in the first quarter, the Menard to Dishon combo struck again with a nine yard TD pass, the point after was good, bring our score to 13-7 in favor of the Redbirds. Tezeno would strike again, returning the pursuing kickoff for six. After the PAT, the Mustangs retook the lead 14-13 with 3:25 left in the first.

Compared to the first quarter, the second quarter was boring. The only threat of scoring was stopped by a fumble recovery from Bridge City’s Ashton Hunter, recovering the ball at the six yard line. The teams would head in to make their adjustments with the Mustangs on top 14-13.

The teams came back from the break and traded off with each a punt in their first possession. The Mustangs second possession ended in a punt also. Jamarcus Rhodes, who kept the Cardinals on the ropes all night long with his punting, made his only mistake of the game. Rhodes shanked a punt giving the Cardinals good field position. One of the nicest play of the game came next. Menard had to make some nice moves to get away from WO-S pass rush, then he found his target, Cameron Dishon, who made some nice moves, and dashed his way through the West Orange defense for a 52 yard gain, bringing the ball to the eleven yard line.

The Cardinals shot themselves in the foot with a holding call and an illegal motion penalty. Bridge City had to settle for a Daniel Faulk 29 yard field goal to regain the lead 16-14 with 2:41 left in the third. The Mustangs would take over putting together a drive that stated at their 34 yard line.

The third quarter would come to an end with a big hit by safety Mitchel Hubbard. The Stangs would continue their drive in the fourth quarter with a 1 & 10 on the Cardinal 18 yard line, but a holding would bring them back ten yards. QB Jimmy Salter stepped back and hit Larry Sonnier, who made an outstanding catch for a touchdown to give the Mustangs back the lead 21-16 with 10:39 left in the game. Each team followed with punts that took valuable time of the clock.

The Cardinals would go for a fourth & six from their 39 yard line, but the pass would fall incomplete. The Card’s defense stepped up to give the Cardinals one more shot, stopping them on a fourth & two on the 31 yard line. On a fourth and four, Menard would get a big run of 39 yards, giving the Cardinals hope and a first down on the Mustang 23 yard line. The Chain gang would step up keeping the Cardinals out of the end zone, sacking Menard on a fourth and nine to take over on downs. The Stangs would get in the victory formation and run the clock out for a 21-16 victory.

Matt Menard had 91 yards rushing on 16 carries and was 12 for 25 in the passing game for 213 yards. Hunter Clark carried the ball 21 times for 72 yards and caught one pass for two yards. Cameron Dishon led in the receiving department with five catches for 150 yards. Tyler Roberts had four catches for 49 yards, Mitchel Hubbard had one catch for eight yards and Slate Arnold had one catch for four yards.

The Cardinals will host Hamshire-Fannett Friday night, with kickoff slated for 7:00 pm. It will be senior night for our team. Come out and support our Cardinal football team, the Cheerleaders, our band and especially our seniors for their last home game, and how about those STRUTTERS!