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Cards entertaining winless CLeveland in 10-4A opener

BRIDGE CITY – After an excellent run through non-district play in which they have already surpassed their win total from last season, the Bridge City Cardinals will begin their quest to make the playoffs after a two-year absence when the Cleveland Indians roll into Larry Ward Stadium Friday night to open up District 10-4A Divison I play.

After opening the season with two straight wins over Class 3A ranked squads in Kirbyville and Newton, the Cardinals lost a nailbiter at home against Lumberton.

The Cardinals (3-1), however, responded nicely on the road last week as they buried Liberty 35-7 behind a stout offensive line, the running of Cayce Draper and a defense that continues to force turnovers.

The Cardinals never looked back against the Panthers last week, racing out to a commanding 27-0 edge as plenty of Redbirds saw playing time throughout the second half.

Draper surpassed the 500-yard mark for the season. He scored a rushing touchdown and hauled in a 55-yard TD pass from quarterback Camden Dubois and set up another Cardinal score with a 68-yard gallop.

Backs Patrick Morris and Colt Poole compliment the backfield well, along with Dubois. Morris and Dubois each scored on long TD runs against the Panthers last week.

Cleveland looked to rebound from a 3-7 campaign but have entered through the gate slowly this year with a 0-4 start.

The Indians have losses to Shepherd (6-0), Livingston (32-15), Liberty (35-5) and Coldspring (34-26).

The Indians do have some athletes as they look to put it together.

They have some excellent skill people in the forms of Danielle Jackson and Jaylon Williams.

Defensively, linebacker Monroe Harding was all-district last season and is one of eight returning starters on the defensive side of the ball.

Last season the Indians escaped with a 27-21 victory at home in overtime.

Sam Alvarado scored three of the Indian TDs in the victory. Cardinal quarterback Byron Trahan passed for two TDs and ran for another in the loss.

Bridge City will have its bye week Oct. 2 and will return to 10-4A play Oct. 9 when they visit Jasper in another key clash.