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Cardinals ready to invade Liberty

BRIDGE CITY – After suffering their first setback of the season, the Bridge City Cardinals will look to rebound with a road trip Friday night against the Liberty Panthers.

The Cardinals (2-1) rallied back but fell just short to the Lumberton Raiders (2-0) 19-14 last week at home after defeated state-ranked Class 3A teams Kirbyville and Newton the first two weeks of the season.

Meanwhile, the Panthers, after suffering through a tough season last year, are off to a 2-1 start. The Panthers defeated Cleveland 35-5 last Friday night. They downed Anahuac 41-6 in their season opener before falling to West Columbia 46-20 in the second week.

The Cardinals trailed the Raider 19-7 going into the fourth quarter last week before mounting a comeback. They got to within 19-14 early in the fourth period. However, a late turnover at the Raider 1 late in the game kept the Redbirds from taking the lead.

The Cardinals gained 251 total yards, 234 via the ground game, while the Raiders had 277 total yards.

Cayce Draper had his second straight 100-yard outing for the Cardinals, finishing with 122 yards on 11 carries. He now has 375 yards on 46 totes for the season.

Fellow back Patrick Morris has collected 191 yards on 25 carries. Quarterback Camden DuBois has rushed for 70 yards and has passed for 94 more.

The Cardinals are averaging 270.3 yards a contest and are allowing 319.3.

Meanwhile, the Panthers were expecting to improve on last year’s 2-8 campaign as 13 starters returned to the mix.

They have been explosive offensively through the first three weeks.

Quarterback Tino Briggs leads the offensive charges. The Panthers have two solid backs in tailback Alex Brown and fullback Marquise Redmon and they also have a deep receiving threat in the form of J.J. Arrington.

The Cardinals outlasted the Panthers 25-14 a season ago, holding the Panthers to just 200 yards. Bridge City quarterback Byron Trahan passed for 210 yards and three touchdowns and receiver Blaine Slaughter hauled in three passes for 108 yards.

The Cardinals will be seeking a big win before the start of District 10-4A Division I play next week when Bridge City welcomes Cleveland to Larry Ward Stadium.