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By Dan Perrine
For The Record 

Cardinals will compete with Lumberton


Last updated 9/12/2023 at 10:24am

Victor Ortiz had a great game blocking for Bridge City against LCM

Bridge City suffered its first loss of the season in an exciting game. The Cardinals finish their non-district schedule this week at home.

Bridge City could have definitely earned the nickname of the Cardiac Cards after their game with the Little Cypress Mauriceville Bears last Friday. The Cardinals scored two fourth quarter touchdowns to come from behind and take the lead twice in the contest only to surrender a late score which gave the Bears a 30-23 win in one of the most exciting meetings between the two schools.

Cardinal Coach Chad Landry thought the atmosphere for this rivalry game was everything it should be. "Our community traveled well. The stands on our side were packed full of red, it was awesome to experience. Four lead changes in the fourth quarter, what a ball game. That was one of the more exciting ball games I've been involved in a long time," Landry remembered.

The Bridge City defensive secondary was tested but played well overall according to Landry. Offensively the Cardinals scored points in chunks lead by a big night from wide receiver Gavin Bodin with three catches for 55 yards and two touchdowns.

Quarterback Hutch Bearden had another good night doing what he could. Bearden scrambled several times for good yardage while also making big time passes when the Cardinals needed them.

Often time unsung heroes are in the offensive line. Landry complimented Victor Ortiz in the O-line with the Cardinals for his good job of blocking against a very strong LCM defensive line.

Landry added, "It was tough. LCM is a good team. They stymied us for a while we couldn't run the ball very well, but overall I just thought our kids played extremely hard. I was proud of our effort and how we competed for four quarters. That was a full forty-eight. It was tough. Once we got back to the fieldhouse we were exhausted, coaching staff included. We left it all out on the field. We're getting close to being a pretty good football team. I think that we've bought in on everything we need to do off the field accountability wise and that's showing up on Friday nights."

The defensive play of the game for Bridge City was a pick six turned in by Rayburn Hebert who has really taken to his new position as an outside linebacker. "We feel he attacks extremely well on the line of scrimmage, and he always seems to be in the right spot at the right time. Rayburn's not afraid of anything, he's tough as nails, and he gets everything out of his frame," Landry praised.

Bridge City plays at home this week against the Lumberton Raiders a district opponent of the LCM Bears. Lumberton was 11-2 last season reaching the regional finals and returns several starters from that excellent team.

The Raiders look to spread you out from sideline to sideline when they are on offense. They do a lot of checks to see what opponent's defenses line up in and then will make the play call from the sideline.

The Lumberton Spread will have three wide receivers to one side or two to both sides of the formation to throw the ball. That will often setup running plays for the Raiders inside as well.

Quarterback Lucas Powell had a sensational year for Lumberton throwing for 3,195 yards and 43 touchdowns in 2022. Powell also ran for 9 scores and 544 yards.

Powell will spread his passes around, but his primary target is senior Trey Kersh. Last season Kersh caught passes totaling 991 yards good for 11 touchdowns. Ty Reyes is also dangerous at wide receiver.

When the Raiders want to run they have a bowling ball of a back in Jaddon Ward to blast through holes. Ward rushed for 1,491 yards and 12 touchdowns with Lumberton in the previous campaign.

Landry stated, "The Raiders have some weapons back. They love to chunk it. We're going to have to play almost perfectly on defense to have a chance. We're going to have to take away one of their tools either the pass or the run to force them into obvious situations. I feel like up front we're still pretty good defensive line wise, so maybe control the run game which means the secondary will have their hands full, and we're going to need their best effort from the secondary on Friday night."

There are some big bodies lining up on defense for Lumberton. A couple of the Raiders are already committed to play college football, they fly around on defense, and play extremely hard.

In the defensive line for the Raiders is Brock Jackson who is a big time player at defensive end. Joining Jackson in the front line is Grayden Spencer at the other defensive end.

Linebacker Easton Stapleton is a standout in the middle for Lumberton. The defensive secondary is led by Carter Wilson.

Bridge City will face another tough opponent this week, but that does not scare Coach Landry or his Cardinals. "I think it falls back on us if we can give Hutch some time back there I like our chances. Our offense is getting better, and each week I feel like they're grasping more of the system. We have a huge test against more big physical players with the Raiders. We're going to work all week to get ready, but we like where we're at right now. It's so fun to come to work when everybody's bought in, and that's from the coaches, to the players, to the athletic trainers, to our administration, and that has fed into our players. It's just been a lot of fun to watch," Landry concluded.

The Bridge City Cardinals will host the Lumberton Raiders on Friday. The kickoff for the game is scheduled for 7:30 PM at Larry Ward Stadium.


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