Bridge City starts district against the Longhorns
Last updated 9/20/2022 at 6:02pm
Last Friday Bridge City lost more than a football game. The Cardinals had fewer points on the scoreboard when the game ended, but they also had fewer players available for this week's game which is the start of district action.
The Bridge City loss to the Lumberton Raiders was a miserable game according to Coach Cody McGuire. "We're just ready to move on. It was a terrible game in all three phases. We lost a lot of kids early, and that had a huge effect on us," McGuire recapped.
The Cardinals had starting quarterback Hutch Bearden injure his throwing arm in the first quarter. Hutch may not play again the remainder of the season.
Starting safety Rayburn Hebert was injured and is out for this week. Cornerback Austin Bellinger had a concussion. Caden Welch broke his collar bone and will be lost for the rest of the year.
The district opener for Bridge City will be on the road. The Cardinals play the Hamshire-Fannett Longhorns who have evened their record at 2-2 for the season by winning their last two games by a combined 85 points.
The Longhorns operate their offense out of the Spread. They rotate their quarterbacks between Cade Craigen and D'onte Zeon. Craigen is used primarily for running the ball with his speed. Zeon is a junior who played quarterback as a freshman, was moved to wide receiver last season, and is used at quarterback in passing situations by Hamshire-Fannett this year.
A leading rusher for the Longhorns is Tyler Spencer who had 779 yards and three touchdowns in 2021. The top receivers are Mason Hein and Caleb Villareal.
The offensive line for the Longhorns is solid. Senior left tackle Caydon Ferrell and junior Kegan Wybie are blocking stalwarts for Hamshire-Fannett.
The Longhorns are balanced with running and throwing the football. McGuire analyzed, "They can run and throw it. They do both well."
Hamshire-Fannett returns five starters from its 3-4 defense of last season. Several of the offensive starters also play defense for the Longhorns including both Craigen and Zeon in the secondary. Villareal is a cornerback who can tackle in the open field.
Senior linebacker John Sanderson was first team all-district for the Longhorns. Sanderson had 131 tackles, 12 of those for losses, and 5 sacks. Another linebacker Gavin Deranierri made 114 tackles with 7 behind the line of scrimmage.
After surrendering 79 points in their first two games the Longhorns have yielded only 15 in the last two games both wins. "They fly to the ball, and they get after it," McGuire described the Hamshire-Fannett defense.
The Cardinals may be licking their wounds from the loss to Lumberton, but they are not licked. Coach McGuire reminded, "It's the next guy up mentality. That's the way it has to be. That's why we've been practicing the way we practice being physical in practice. Our guys have got to be prepared so when their number is called they've got to perform."
One of the Cardinals that will be stepping up and filling a hole is Josmany Robleto at quarterback replacing Hutch Bearden. Robleto moved to Bridge City from Miami, is athletic, and tough. Robleto saw playing time at running back two weeks ago against Little Cypress-Mauriceville. "We're excited to see what he can do," McGuire concluded.
Friday night the Bridge City Cardinals play the Hamshire-Fannett Longhorns. The game will be at Hamshire-Fannett beginning at 7:30.