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By Dan Perrine
For The Record 

Cardinals travel to play state ranked Jasper


Last updated 10/3/2023 at 1:52pm

Gavin Bodin of the Cardinals sat out the last game with concussion protocol but has been cleared to play Friday night in Jasper

The Bridge City Cardinals got a breather from their difficult football schedule last week. This Friday night it is back to work for the Cardinals against another district opponent who is state ranked.

To this point in the season Bridge City has already surpassed its win total from last year. The Cardinals should be optimistic of more wins for them over the last five weeks of the season.

Coach Chad Landry is very pleased with the progress shown by the Cardinals. "We've got a gauntlet of a schedule, and it's been tough sledding the last couple games, but overall I have been extremely impressed not just on Friday nights, it's in the weight room, it's what we're doing during the athletic period, their focus during film has just been great. I can't say enough about how well our players have bought in and it's been fun to watch. We know we've still got a tough sled in front of us, we know what's ahead, but realistically we're just taking it day by day, and the guys are doing a great job of just working their tails off," Landry evaluated.

Each Friday night it seems to Coach Landry a different Cardinal steps up. The result is Bridge City is not relying on just one or two guys. Health is a big deal at this point of the season with several Cardinals banged up. The bye for Bridge City came at a good time to get some Cardinals healthy and give them some rest. This included wide receiver and punter Gavin Bodin who was in concussion protocol the week before the bye but is cleared to play this week at Jasper.

Landry said, "Overall, I've been very impressed with Hutch Bearden as our signal caller he's done a good job. Gavin Bodin, Jerris Brown, and Abraham Mungia offensively are special players for us, and their leadership on that side of the ball has taken off and it's not easy and they have fully invested, and it's been fun to see those guys kind of take charge."

Bridge City goes north to play Jasper this week. The Bulldogs had been ranked in the top ten teams in Class 4A Division II before their loss last week to also state ranked Hamshire-Fannett.

The Bulldogs will operate out of the Spread on offense. Athletic suitably describes Jasper as a team and especially so on offense.

Maybe the most impressive of the numerous athletes on the Bulldogs is tight end Kiotti Armstrong. He can catch the football and knows what to do with it when he has got it.

Throwing the ball to Armstrong is quarterback Isaiah Coleman a junior. The Bulldogs use running backs Zykeelon Hadnot and Payton Brooks who are both averaging five and a half yards per carry with six touchdowns between them.

"The Bulldogs have got size, speed, and talent everywhere on offense. We know it's a tough test coming this Friday. The bye week helped and our guys are hungry, they're ready to play again, we're excited for the opportunity to play a strong team like Jasper," Landry replied.

A key for the Cardinal defense against Jasper's offense is holding up and playing for the full 48 minutes. Landry emphasized, "Where we've got to do a better job is holding up in the second half. That's the plan for this week."

Defensively Bridge City needs to cause more turnovers and get the ball back. Coach Landry is making that a key for the Cardinal defense this week.

The athletes are also found on the Jasper defense. Maybe the most recruited Bulldog is inside linebacker Ty Anthony Smith who made 118 tackles last season with six of those for losses.

Tylon Garrett in the defensive line is a young man who will cause trouble for opposing offenses. Garrett had 15 tackles for losses with 10 sacks and was an all-district selection.

Kiotti Armstrong will also line up on defense at linebacker. He had four sacks and 12 tackles behind the line of scrimmage in only his second year of playing football.

In the Jasper secondary is Andre'Von Thomas who made 5 interceptions last year. Thomas also made 64 tackles.

Landry analyzed, "The Bulldogs are going to man you up. They're going to send pressure. They're extremely physical and large. Physically, Jasper is the largest and fastest team that we have faced so far. We know the challenge we face Friday night especially having to travel to Jasper."

The odds makers probably would not give Bridge City much of a chance against Jasper, but the Cardinals will play the game with a lot of heart and determination according to their coach. "The players are here to work. They're here to get after it. They enjoy being around each other. The fieldhouse has been great. Normally by this point of the year we'd be getting some guys taking the practices not as serious, but practices have been great. I'm excited. I know our coaching staff is going to give our players full energy every day. The players are going to give us every thing they have. As far as the game goes if we can avoid the big swing in momentum like a costly penalty or a turnover we have a chance. I firmly believe we really do have a chance and our players believe that," Landry concluded.

The Bridge City Cardinals will play the Jasper Bulldogs on Friday. The game kicks off at 7:30 PM in Jasper.


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