The first win in district was earned last week by Bridge City. The Cardinals got a strong performance from Rylan Ply who rushed for 167 yards in just the first three quarters. His replacement freshman Ethan Oceguera picked up another 91 yards and scored a touchdown.
Ply is questionable for this week’s game according to Coach Allen DeShazo. Getting Ply back is big for Bridge City because he plays on both sides, offense and defense for the Cardinals. He was to be examined by the trainer later in the week to check his availability for the season finale. DeShazo advised, “We’ll see how it goes.”
The final game of the season will be Friday against district champion Splendora. DeShazo evaluated a very good Wildcat offense and their personnel. The coach compared them to Lumberton for the way they use their size and like to employ a power running game inside.
The Wildcats have a number of outstanding skill players. Jessie Paris is a big back who will get most of the carries for Splendora. Dylan Matthews lines up in multiple positions and is dangerous as a runner, a receiver, and a kick returner. Their quarterback Cody Thorndyke has a good arm, and his primary receiver Tyler Gamble is a threat to score on every catch. “It’s going to be a real test. They’re going to try to run right at us, but we’ll just see how we hold up,” DeShazo explained.
On defense the Wildcats line up in a balanced four-man front. Splendora is especially big in the defensive line. Many of the skill players on offense are used on the defensive side of the ball.
Splendora’s defense may not have put up the numbers its offense has, but Coach DeShazo pointed out the Wildcats do have some quality players on defense. Jaylen Smith anchors the line with his massive bulk. Joining him inside is Kyle Weber who is big and quick enough to also serve as a running back.
At linebacker Brady Frazier is a leader and can be seen all over the field. Free safety Justice Mosley comes downhill to stop the run and is very much involved in pass coverage. DeShazo suggested, “They’re going to present some problems, but we have some things we hope can counteract it this week.”
It is the final game of the season for Bridge City. DeShazo believes it will be another good learning opportunity for his Cardinals in preparation for next year. The coach hopes to send the seniors out on a high note in their final game at Bridge City. At the same time this final game will give the seven Cardinal freshmen more experience with the speed on the varsity level. “It’s not ideal, but they’re playing really well, and it’s just one more chance for them to get better for next year,” DeShazo concluded.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-