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By Dan Perrine
For The Record 

Cardinals to challenge LCM


Last updated 9/5/2023 at 7:40pm

Lisa K Anderson

Bridge City's Abraham Mungia celebrates his touchdown with Cardinal teammate Bryce Breeden.

Things are looking up in Bridge City with two wins already this season, more than the Cardinals had all of last year. Another big rivalry game will be a good test for the Cardinals on the road this Friday night.

Last week Bridge City played its first road game of the season and defeated the Buna Cougars 20-12. In their first two games the Cardinals have outscored their opponents 46-21 resulting in two victories.

Cardinal Coach Chad Landry is proud of his young Cardinals winning on the road. "I thought we handled the change of playing away very well. We were organized up front. Our players stuck to the pre-planned schedule. It was good to see them be prepared. It was a great ball game. I am proud of our kids and the way they handled themselves on the road for the first time this year," Landry remarked.

Accolades could be shared by both the offensive and the defensive units of Bridge City. Individually Abraham Mungia had a great game according to Landry. "When he's in space he is a dynamic athlete. We're trying to get him the ball a number of different ways because when he has the ball in his hands he's real explosive and elusive. Abraham is a great young sophomore, he's got a bright future."

There were no injuries to the Cardinals in the victory. The coach said the Bridge City trainer Bry Salazar did deal with some players who were cramping during the game which may have been a result of being the first road game.

"We'll handle that a lot better this week going to LCM with our hydration and the way that we stay hydrated. Just some cramping at the end of the game that we hadn't dealt with all year which attributed to the different game day schedule and not taking care of our hydration like we should have," Landry believes.

As Landry said this week the Cardinals play at their longtime county rival Little Cypress Mauriceville. The Bears have split their first two games of the season winning easily against Hardin-Jefferson before losing last week against West Orange-Stark in the Orange Bowl.

The Cardinal defense is allowing only about ten points a game in the first two wins but should be tested by the Spread Offense employed by the Bears. "Their Spread is multiple and they're dynamic on offense. We're going to have to have a big night from Ayden Richardson again. He's just played extremely well this year. We're going to need him up front," Coach Landry stated.

Inside linebackers Blaze King and Braxton Lynam had good nights at Buna. Landry indicated King and Lynam held up well and made good calls in that game. They both will have to have another good night against Little Cypress Mauriceville.

Landry analyzed, "The Bears are such a well-coached team. They're dynamic and explosive on offense so we've got our hands full."

Leading the Bears offense is quarterback Dylan Payne who is a good runner while also being able to throw the football. Payne has talented wide receivers like Keagan Cockerham and Braydon Guillory as well as Jonah Fuller coming out of the backfield.

Because of the mixed attack from LCM the Cardinals will find it necessary to stop both the run and the pass to be successful on Friday night. "I feel like up front we're okay. Our secondary kind of took a step forward against Buna we had two big picks. Those guys are growing in the secondary, they were all sophomores last year. With more games under their belts they're playing a lot faster," Landry evaluated. Credit for the improvement of the Bridge City secondary was given by Landry to the Cardinals' secondary coach Jacob Underhill.

Bridge City will hope to move the football against Little Cypress Mauriceville like it has in the first two games. That will not be easy against the Bears' defense.

LCM uses the 4-3 Defense which has been a trademark for the Bears' defensive coordinator John Davis. The Bears should be ready to give the Cardinals' offense a battle on Friday night.

The key for the Bridge City offense will be the front line. "I think our O-line needs to take another step forward. They have, and I'm really proud of how our offensive line from day one to now is leaps and bounds better than it was when we started. We've just got to take another step. If we can give Hutch (Bearden) some time back there I think he can find some guys and get the ball in our playmakers' hands. I believe the Bears are going to try to put pressure on Hutch. We've just got to keep him clean for four quarters and let him do his work," Landry emphasized.

Ayden Richardson has been a strong defender for the Cardinals in the front line and will need another big game this week against LCM

The hype may be talked by the fans about the intensity of the rivalry between Bridge City and Little Cypress Mauriceville. Landry expressed, "Honestly, it's really the next game on the schedule. It is different when all the players know each other, they all hang out with each other in the summer. They're with each other on the weekends. It's just a different vibe whenever they know each other so well. It makes for a great environment. I just hope for a clean game."

There is no trophy awarded, but the winners do get bragging rights for the next year. "We're looking forward to it. We're going to have to play our best game of the year to have a chance, and it should be fun," Landry concluded.

The Bridge City Cardinals play the Little Cypress Mauriceville Bears on Friday. The game will kickoff at 7:00 PM in Battlin' Bear Stadium.


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