It’s playoff time. Anyone who has been following our local are football teams knows that this is the opportunity that the schools play for. This is what all the hard work and determination gets you; a new chance to survive every week. If it all ends up the way you hope, you’ll be the last team standing.

Last week, the Bridge City Cardinals (5-5, 4-2) wrote a new page in the book of school history by securing a playoff berth with a 24-13 win over their rival Orangefield Bobcats (4-6, 2-4). Coach Cris Stump’s squad earned him a fourth consecutive playoff appearance, and more importantly, a chance to keep their season alive.

The Cardinals hosted Coach Josh Smalley and a determined Bobcat team, but the Cardinals proved who wanted it more. The Bobcats played hard but were held to press the running game as the Cardinal D shut everything down through the air, and even getting a pick. Eric Truncale and Carl Wiley each held their own in this contest, but have each seen better games throughout the year.

For the Cardinals, it was Ashton Hunter who lead the charge against Orangefield, running for 244 yards and three touchdowns on the day. Coach Stump and the Cards have relied on Hunter all year long, and in order for Big Red to thrive in the post-season, he’ll need to deliver the type of quality rushes we’ve all been able to witness throughout the year.

Bridge City will face Coldspring in the first match-up of their playoff run this Friday, November 16 at 7:30 p.m.

Coldspring will be a good test for the Cardinals to start off with. Earlier in the year, they lost to the Little Cypress-Mauricevil Bears and it is a game that the Cardinals will surely be prepared for.

Our other local high school football team making the playoffs is the West Orange Stark-Mustangs (10-0, 5-0). This was a year-long, historical effort for the Mustangs as they shut-out team after team, registering one win after another. They were everybody’s clear-cut favorite to win the district since day one, and they did not disappoint.

Coach Thompson had his boys ramped up for every game they played in, and every team they faced would feel the intensity and eventual sting of defeat as the Mustangs rolled on through their schedule. Last Friday, Silsbee had a chance to knock WO-S off of its pedestal, but failed to do so just like the nine teams who fell before them, eventually losing 26-12. It wasn’t quite as impressive as some of there other performances this year, but still got the desired results the team played so hard for.

The Mustangs will play Cleveland this Friday at 7 p.m. They will enter the first round of the playoffs with a lot of hope and riding high off a tidal wave of momentum. The Mustangs need to tune out all the hype, avoid what could be a trap game coupled with an early exit and then move on past the first round.

Pictured: Cardinals celebrate with the Buzzy Gunn Trophy after winning the Bayou Bowl against Orangefield Friday night.