Cardinals play H-J on Friday
Last updated 10/18/2022 at 10:23am
Injuries have taken their toll on the Bridge City Cardinals this season. The Cardinals will be looking for their first district win this Friday night.
Last week Bridge City played West Orange-Stark close until late in the second quarter. Two late touchdowns just before half time by the Mustangs blew the game open resulting in another defeat for the Cardinals.
Coach Cody McGuire of Bridge City observed the Cardinals played hard in the game at West Orange-Stark. "Our kids came out and fought. We do have a lot of injuries, a lot of kids out. At the 4-A level that hurts the team quite a bit. We do have kids stepping up doing a great job," McGuire replied.
One Cardinal in particular who stepped up last week was Noah Broussard at quarterback. Broussard is the fourth Cardinal to play quarterback this season moving there from his H-Back position because the three other quarterbacks have been injured.
Broussard played well in his first start as the Bridge City quarterback in the Spread offense. McGuire praised, "He did an incredible job, I can't say enough about Noah. He's one of our captains. He was an all-district player for us at receiver last year. He's a physical guy and catches and runs the ball well. He's just a smart kid and great athlete." Broussard was the Cardinals' leading rusher with 47 yards, but he had 67 yards on 12 carries before a fumbled snap and a couple of sacks reduced his total yards.
On defense the Cardinals played hard and got after the Mustangs according to Coach McGuire. Except for one long touchdown run by the Mustang quarterback Bridge City limited West Orange-Stark to just over 130 yards rushing. The Cardinals are young on defense but McGuire believes this season will be a learning experience for them.
Friday night's opponent will be the Hardin-Jefferson Hawks. They have struggled this season under a new head coach. The Hawks are 0-7 and winless in their three district games.
New coach Zach Bass has switched Hardin-Jefferson from their Slot-T of the last several years to the Spread Offense. The Hawks have scored 91 points in their seven losses this year.
The quarterback is Logan Trotter for the Hawks. Trotter is only a sophomore and is in his first year as a starter for Hardin-Jefferson.
Trotter's favorite target for passes is tight end Wyatt Samaha who is 6-3 and 250 pounds. Other receivers include Jude Flores, Roshard Sears, and Rodrick Russell. The Hawks will shift into the Wildcat and use wide receiver Isaiah Melvo in the quarterback position to run the football.
The offensive line for the Hawks is experienced with four senior returning starters. CJ Demas at left tackle is a returning all-district player. Logan Hodges is the other tackle with Rylan Morgan and Pete Thielen as the guards.
Hardin-Jefferson is still trying to work the kinks out of the new offensive system. "They've got a bunch of kids that play hard like us, and they're looking for a win just like we are," McGuire commented.
The defense is aligned in the 3-4 at Hardin-Jefferson. The Hawks play hard collectively but have surrendered 329 points in seven games.
There are no real standouts on the Hawks' defensive unit. McGuire elaborated, "They get after it as a defensive unit. I think they're going to come into our house and they're going to give us everything they've got because they're fighting to get a win as well."
The Cardinals will have to play their best on special teams against the Hawks. Melvo ran back a kickoff for a touchdown in Hardin-Jefferson's game against Liberty two weeks ago. Bridge City may have an advantage in the kicking game with Victor Hernandez being able to make medium range field goals for the Cardinals.
Bridge City and Hardin-Jefferson have just one win on the season between them with the Cardinals getting that lone victory against Buna in Week 2. The Cardinals have played a difficult schedule so far that included two games against teams from a higher division and contests with three of the four district favorites.
The tough schedule is designed to make Bridge City football stronger. McGuire explained, "To be great you've got to beat great teams. We do have a young team and our kids are fighting every week. I think our kids are physical, our kids are well conditioned, and our kids are going to be ready Friday night."
There is some optimism from Coach McGuire about possibly getting one of his injured quarterbacks returning for the Hardin-Jefferson game. "We're hoping to get some of those guys that have been injured to come back so Noah Broussard doesn't have to play quarterback and can go back to his normal position. That is still to be determined. We hope to have Gavin Bodin back at receiver and punter. I feel like our guys have been doing a great job of stepping up and doing everything we've asked them to do. They have shown great mental toughness which will only help us in the long run," McGuire concluded.
The Bridge City Cardinals play the Hardin-Jefferson Hawks on Friday night. The game begins at 7:30 in Larry Ward Stadium in Bridge City.