Gerry L. Dickert
The Orange Leader
BRIDGE CITY —
The struggles continue for Bridge City but the bright spots are coming more and more often as the Cardinals battle through the 2012 football season.
The Cards dropped a decision to Silsbee, 45-20, in a District 21-3A showdown Friday night but found a way to keep the game exciting for the home crowd with several explosive moments.
Though Silsbee won the coin toss to start the game, the Cardinals would win the first battle as Tigers quarterback Patrick Reed fumbled the opening snap with Cardinal Dylan Sams falling on the loose ball.
Three plays later, the Cardinals took a 7-0 lead when quarterback Daniel Faulk connected with Tanner Cervenka for a 9-yard touchdown strike.
When the Cardinals (2-4, 1-1) stopped Silsbee on its next drive, forcing the Tigers to turn the ball over on downs, it appeared that perhaps BC had turned the corner and would make a stand at home.
Silsbee would finally answer, though, on a drive late in the first quarter as they went 49 yards in three plays, capped by a 44-yard run by Zayon Jackson, tying the game at 7.
After a Bridge City punt, the Tigers mounted a 13-play, 60-yard drive that resulted in a 20-yard field goal by Lazaro Vasquez.
Another BC punt, and Silsbee converted a 38-yard punt return into a three-play drive that ended with Chris Elam taking a reverse 27 yards for another score. With 6:04 left in the half, the Tigers led 17-7.
Down, but not out, the Cardinals came out of the locker room with upset on their mind. Ashton Hunter took the kickoff and sprinted 84 yards to the end zone, closing the gap to 17-13 with 11;47 left in the third quarter.
Silsbee came right back, though, moving the ball 59 yards in five plays with Floyd Spearman bulling over from the 1 to put the Tigers back out front 24-13.
From there on out, it was the Silsbee Tigers show. Bridge City punt, Silsbee score. Another Cardinals punt, another Tigers TD. A fumbled kickoff by BC, a Silsbee visit to the end zone.
The Tigers scored on an 84-yard pass from Reed to Chris Elam for a 31-13 lead, then took advantage of a 55-yard punt return by Elam to set up a 4-yard run by Spearman for a 38-13 lead.
Spearman found the end zone again on a 1-yard run early in the fourth quarter for a 45-13 lead.
Even down by 32, the Cardinals refused to yield as BC embarked on a nine-play, 52-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown run by Hunter.
The Cardinals were led by Hunter’s 67 yards rushing while Faulk finished 5 of 13 for 53 yards and an interception. His top receivers were Adrian Shubarth with two catches for 24 yards and Colin Smith with two for 20.
The Tigers saw Patrick Reed go over the 1,000-yard passing mark for the season after completing 10 of 20 for 203 yards and a TD. His top receiver was Elam with three catches for 119 yards.
Jackson led the Tigers running game with three carries for 56 yards, while Reed had 11 totes for 45.
The Tigers, who improve to 6-1 overall and 3-0 in District 21-3A play, will take their bye week next Friday, while Bridge City travel to Hamshire-Fannett.
Bridge City 20
BC 7 0 6 7 — 20
Sils 7 10 21 7 — 45
BC – Tanner Cervenka 9 pass from Daniel Faulk, Thomas Findlay kick (1Q/10:51)
SIL – Zayon Jackson 44 run, Lazaro Vasquez kick (1Q/5:06)
SIL – Vasquez 20 FG (2Q/8:49)
SIL – Chris Elam 27 run (2Q/6:04)
BC – Ashton Hunter 84 kickoff return, kick failed (3Q/11:47)
SIL – Floyd Spearman 1 run, Vasquez kick (3Q/10:04)
SIL – Elam 84 pass from Patrick Reed, Vasquez kick (3Q/6:01)
SIL – Spearman 4 run, Vasquez kick (3Q/1:19)
SIL – Spearman 1 run, Vasquez kick (4Q/10:49)
BC – Hunter 20 run, Findlay kick (4Q/0:45)
First downs 7 15
Rushes-yards 37-99 31-168
Passing 53 203
Comp-Att-Int 5-13-1 10-20-0
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 2-1
Penalties-yards 6-55 6-50
Rushing: Silsbee, Zayon Jackson 3-56, Patrick Reed 11-45, Chris Elam 1-11, Floyd Spearman 7-20, Kendrick Scott 4-13, Yancy Brydson 1-3, Jordan Holmes 2-2, Tristan Grisham 1-1, Johnathan Rodger 1-1; Bridge City, Ashton Hunter 22-67, Kruz Dearbonne 7-22, Trey Huffman 2-3, Daniel Faulk 5-7, Chase Dickerson 1-0.
Passing: Silsbee, Reed 10-20-0 203; Bridge City, Daniel Faulk 5-13-1 53.
Receiving: Silsbee, Chris Elam 3-107, Montana Garcia 2-40, Jordan Holmes 2-22, Ladavian Barnes 1-17, Rodgers 1-9, Zayon Jackson 1-8; Bridge City, Adrian Shubarth 2-24, Colin Smith 2-20, Tanner Cervenka 1-9.