Last Friday was the bye week for the Bridge City Cardinals. It gave some Cardinals the opportunity to heal up including Justyn Romero from his concussion against Jasper. The coaches got more time to get ready for the start of the district season this Friday.
The opening opponent in district will be the Cleveland Indians, and Coach Dwayne DuBois evaluated the Indians’ offense. They run out of the Spread, literally they like to run the ball out of the Spread. Cleveland will throw the occasional bubble screen or short pass, but primarily the Indians run the football. DuBois believes the Indians are much improved on the offensive side of the ball.
The Cleveland offense starts with quarterback Jett Hendrix who is a three-year starter and Coach Keith Hendrix’s son. Hendrix will call his own number a lot and is a good runner using his ability as a track star running the hurdles.
Joining Hendrix in the backfield is Dylan Reeves who is a strong runner with speed. A solid Cleveland offensive line is led by David Reeves at tight end joined by several other big youngsters to open holes for Hendrix and Reeves.
The Indians have a number of good athletes on defense. DuBois points out Cleveland uses multiple formations on defense. They will show an even man front and then switch into an odd man front. Against Bridge City and its prolific running game, Coach DuBois anticipates eight Indians in the box.
The “bell cow” for Cleveland on defense is middle linebacker Christian Randell who seldom comes off the field. Kobe Gipson anchors the defensive line with David Reeves an active player on the outside at defensive end. The key player in the secondary is Hendrix at safety. DuBois observes, “They’ve got a lot of kids playing both ways.”
The Indians are much improved this season according to Coach DuBois. Cleveland has some athletes, are a talented bunch, and are now in its third year of the same system with Coach Hendrix. Bridge City with the return of Romero and Andy Lara from a previous knee injury should be as healthy as it has been since the beginning of the season.
Entering this game everyone is even, and DuBois believes the Cardinals have prepared themselves to successfully defend their district title. Games with West Orange-Stark, Newton, and Jasper all top teams in the state have got the Cardinals ready for the district war. “We’re excited, it’s like a fresh new start, I think we’re starting to jell, and everyone will see a much improved ball club this Friday,” DuBois concluded.
Bridge City travels to Cleveland on Friday. The Cardinals and the Indians kickoff their district opener at 7:00 PM.