After its first game of the season two weeks ago Bridge City had a bye last Friday. This occurred during the first week of competition for other teams in the Cardinals’ district.
Coach Allen DeShazo said the week was spent getting the Cardinals into better shape for the district contests which begin for them this Friday night. Missing the first three games of the season did not have Bridge City physically prepared for 48 minutes of football.
The Cardinals got tired near the end of their first game of the season with Anahuac while the Panthers who had played each week were still going strong to the end of the game. DeShazo stated, “We used that whole week to really work on our game shape and our conditioning.”
The first district opponent for the Cardinals is Hamshire-Fannett. DeShazo analyzed the Longhorns’ Spread Offense indicating it is much improved over previous years.
Starting at quarterback is D’onte Zeno who is just a freshman. The coach believes Zeno is special with a big-time arm, and he can run the football as well.
Another key offensive player is Kheagian Heckaman who will line up all over the field in the backfield and as a wide out. He will even spell Zeno at quarterback and is the best runner for Hamshire-Fannett with 318 yards and six touchdowns rushing on the season.
Heckaman is just one of several dangerous receivers the Longhorns have. Jordan Denson and Garrett Picou lead the district in receptions. “Just a really, really good unit all the way around,” DeShazo evaluated.
The Longhorns on defense are aggressive trying to tackle opposing ball carriers for losses. They line up like the Cardinals in an odd front on defense and will shift into a four-man look at times.
A star on defense is again Heckaman in the defensive secondary for Hamshire-Fannett. Another leader is Kaleb Chandler at linebacker. He has a nose for the football and pursues well according to DeShazo. Both Heckaman and Chandler are sure tacklers.
DeShazo described the defensive strategy of the Longhorns. “They’re going to make you keep everything in front of them, they’re not going to let you beat them deep, and they’re going to make you work for everything you get.”
This week’s game is the district opener for Bridge City. The Longhorns lost their first district game last week to the West Orange-Stark Mustangs, 37-7.
DeShazo provided the keys for a Cardinal win to start their district schedule. “It’s going to come down to us just doing our job defensively and keeping the quarterback in the pocket, not let him run around, and get some pressure on him. Offensively, we simply need to hang on to the football like we did the first week when we did a really good job of it, take care of the ball, move the chains, and keep drives alive,” DeShazo concluded.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-
HF at BC
HJ at WOS
OF is off
Silsbee at Liberty