Cardinals stroll past Bears, 54-28
Published 11:47 pm Friday, October 14, 2016
LITTLE CYPRESS – After a nip-and-tuck first half, the Bridge City Cardinals pulled away from the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears to notch a 54-28 important District 10-4A Division I victory at Battlin’ Bear Stadium Friday night.
The Bears (2-5, 0-2) moved the ball well but things snowballed for them with turnovers in the second half as the Cardinals (4-2, 2-0) utilized their power rushing attack to put the game away.
LC-M had five turnovers on the night.
Bridge City placed three rushers over the 100-yard barrier and finished with 429 total yards, all on the ground on 46 rushes.
“I thought our guys did a great job up front in the trenches,” said Cardinal coach Dwayne Dubois. “We didn’t do too much on our first two series and we challenged those big fellas and then they got after it. We like what we have in our skill kids but it’s those big guys that have to open things up for them and they did that tonight. This was a big win for us for sure, credit the LC-M kids, they played hard.”
Tailback Max Baker zipped for 134 yards and three touchdowns on just five carries. Fullback Cayce Draper wore down the Bears with 120 yards on 21 totes and tailback Patrick Morris went over the 100-yard mark for the second week in a row with 112 yards two scores on just eight carries.
Hunter Denton rushed for a touchdown and had a key 99-yard interception returned in the second half. His interception return came when the Bears were driving to try to tie the game at 28 and it ended up being a 14-point swing.
“That was the play that sparked us and got us over the hump,” said Dubois. “Hunter, with his speed, is so dangerous in the open field and it would be hard to find too many people that can run him down.”
“To have three go over 100 yards is what we like to see with our offense,” said Dubois. “Of course, Cayce (Draper) was a workhorse again and I think he helped wear them (LC-M) down. Baker and Morris can really go when they hit the open field.”
The Bears actually outgained the Cardinals, finished with 440 yards.
Quarterback Beau Bickham completed 13-of-24 passes for 233 yards and rushed for 60 yards on nine carries.
Bear tailback Chris Winters was a workhorse, rushing for 86 yards and two TDs while catching six passes for 98 yards. Fullback J’Lon Douglas had 52 yards on 10 carries.
On their second possession of the second half the Bears got good field position at the BC 49 and drove all the way to the Cardinal 18.
However, the tide turned in favor of the Cardinals when speed demon Cardinal defensive back Hunter Denton picked off Bickham on a fourth-and-6 play from the 18 and returned it 99 yards to hand the Cardinals a 35-21 edge with 1:57 left in the third.
LC-M’s Dameon Morris coughed up the ball on the ensuing kickoff as Cardinal Seth Martin fell on it at the Bear 27. Two plays later Patrick Morris zipped over right tackle and motored 32 yards for the touchdown. The extra-point kick failed as the Cards led 41-21 with 1:39 in the third.
The Cardinals capitalized on another Bear miscue when Bear receiver Mark Netherley hauled in a 12-yard screen pass but fumbled the ball over to Cardinal Seth Martin at the LC-M 36. Three plays later Baker scored again, taking a pitch and hitting the left sideline for a 36-yard scoring jaunt to make it 47-21 with 11:14 left.
The Bears kept battling though, marching 71 yards in seven plays.
Douglas had 35 yards on four carries and Bickham finished it with a 13-yard keeper up the middle to trim it to 47-28 with 7:45 remaining.
Bridge City followed up with a five-play, 49-yard scoring drive with Morris finishing it off with a 34-yard touchdown dart through the Bear defense to make it 54-28 with 4:58 remaining.
The Cardinals entered the half with a 28-21 lead as the two teams combined for 568 in the first 24 minutes with the Bears gaining 289 and Bridge City 279.
The Bears drove from their own 40 all the way to the Cardinal 20 on their first series thanks to big runs by Winters and Bickham but
Bridge City rose up and stopped the Bears on fourth down.
LC-M would answer on their next possession as they piled up 58 yards on
a nice 10-play drive to get to the end zone.
Bickham had nice passes of 11 and 10 yards to receiver Katon Brown and also broke loose on a 10-yard keeper.
Winters eventually turned the right corner for a nine-yard gain to the BC 1 and the tailback then capped the march with a one-yard carry up the middle. Kicker John Gonzalez drilled the extra-point as the Bears led 7-0 with 1:50 left in the first quarter.
The Cardinals quickly got their offense in gear when swift junior Baker bolted off left tackle, found a big hole and outsprinted the Bear secondary for a 69-yard touchdown gallop. Kicker Alfredo Heraldez nailed the point-after to allow the Cardinals to tie it up with 1:33 in the first quarter.
Bridge City caught the Bears off guard on the ensuing kickoff as Cardinal Seth Martin recovered n onside kick at the LC-M 46.
The Cardinals hit paydirt five plays later when Denton hit a wide-open hole up the middle and sprinted in for a 19-yard touchdown as the Cardinals led 14-7 with 11:54 in the half.
The Bears moved it from their own 40 all the way down to the Cardinal 10 before bogging down as the Cardinals stopped Winters for a three-yard gain on a screen pass on a fourth-and-6 play.
The Bears, however, made a big play on defense when Draper saw the ball get popped loose and LC-M’s Brett Guy pounced on it at the Cardinal 21with 7:04 in the half.
Winters and the Bears took advantage quickly. The junior tailback ripped off a 16-yard jaunt around the left side to the Cardinal 5 and scored two plays later by going off left tackle from three yards out to tie the game at 14-14 with 6:10 in the half.
The Cardinals promptly countered with a five-play, 53-yard scoring drive.
Morris broke off a 28-yard dart down the right side and had another 10-yard gain that got to the Bear 13. Cardinal quarterback Byron Trahan capped it with a 13-yard keeper around the right side. The extra-point kick failed with the Cardinals leading 20-14 with 4:12 on the clock.
LC-M snared the lead the next time they had it. Bickham rolled to the right, gave a great pump fake and hit receiver Dameon Morris down the right sideline. Morris did the rest as he turned up the speed and went 66 yards for the touchdown bomb. Gonzalez nailed the point-after, putting the Bears up 21-20 with 3:50 in the half.
The Cardinals were not through in the half as they navigated a 10-play, 75-yard drive to score again. Draper toted the leather six times for 59 yards on the drive and bulled his way to runs of 30 and 21 and had a big three-yard run on fourth-and-1 to the Bear 10. Baker did the honors on the next play when the little back broke up the
middle, and carried Bear defenders with him for a 10-yard touchdown.
Baker also scored on a two-point conversion to give the Cardinals a 28-21 edge with 0:35.
The Bears came right back when Bickham and Winters connected on a screen that Winters turned into a 63-yard gain all the way to the Cardinal 10 with 0:02 left. It ended when Cardinal freshman Jackson Tims picked off a past on the last play of the half.
Bickham completed 9-of-16 passes for 180 yards in the half and also had 42 yards on five carries. Winters had four catches for 71 yards and rushed for 60 more on 10 carries.
Baker had four carries for 98 yards for the Cardinals in the half while Draper rumbled for 97 yards on 14 totes and Baker had 46 yards on six carries.
The Cardinals return home next week to face the Silsbee Tigers in a vital showdown with the winner taking sole possession of first-place while the Bears will take a trek to Huffman to tangle with the Falcons.
Silsbee (4-3, 2-0), which defeated Navasota 35-14 Friday, defeated the Cardinals in a 62-42 shootout last season and eventually took the district title.
“We remember what Silsbee did to us last year and it wasn’t pretty,” said Dubois. “We’re going to have to have an excellent week of practice to get ready for them. They can make explosive plays at any moment. We can’t afford any turnovers, that’s for sure. We protected the ball well tonight and we’ve got to be able to do that again for sure next week.”
BC 7 21 13 13— 54
LC-M 7 14 0 7 —28
LC-M: Chris Winters 1 run. John Gonzalez kick.
BC: Max Baker 69 run. Alfredo Heraldez kick.
BC: Hunter Denton 19 run. Heraldez kick.
LC-M: Winters 3 run. Gonzales kick.
BC: Byron Trahan 13 run. Kick failed.
LC-M: Dameon Morris 66 pass from Beau Bickham. Gonzalez kick.
BC: Baker 10 run. Baker run.
BC: Denton 99 interception return. Heraldez kick.
BC: Morris 32 run. Kick failed.
BC: Baker 36 run. Run failed.
LC-M: Bickham 13 run. Gonzalez kick.
BC: Morris 34 run. Heraldez kick.
First downs 17 23
Rushes-yards 46-429 35-207
Passing 0 233
Comp-Att-Int 0-1-0 13-25-3
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 2-2
Penalties-yards 8-60 5-40
Rushing: Bridge City, Max Baker 5-134, Cayce Draper 21-120, Patrick Morris 8-112, Byron Trahan 4-16, Andy Lara 2-7, Tyler Tran 1-2; LC-M, Chris Winters 14-86, Beau Bickham 9-60, J’Lon Douglas 10-52, Mark Netherley 2-9.
Passing: Bridge City, Byron Trahan 0-1-0 0; LC-M, Beau Bickham 13-24-3
233, Katon Brown 0-1-0 0.
Receiving: Bridge City, None 0-00; LC-M, Chris Winters 6-98, Keegan Sonnier 2-22, Katon Brown 2-21, Dameon Morris 1-66, J’Lon Douglas 1-14, Mark Netherley 1-12.