Cards will visit Jasper

Published 8:16 am Thursday, September 28, 2017

BRIDGE CITY — It’s been an injury-riddled season for the Bridge City Cardinals in the early going of the season as they will look to rebound with a road trip to Jasper to face the Bulldogs Friday night.

The Cardinals (0-2) have been saddled with a load of injuries to key players, including backs Andy Lara, Hunter Denton, Ethan Hamm and Max Baker that has hampered their usually vaunted Slot-T offensive attack.

Bridge City also had to replace their entire offensive line from the District 10-4A Division I district championship team of a year ago as those young guys continue to gain experience.

The Cardinals’ schedule has been stout as well, falling to defending 4A Division II state champion West Orange-Stark (39-6) and Class 3A power Newton (55-14) last week.

The Bulldogs (1-2) nabbed their first win of the season last week against Bryan Rudder (36-7) after dropping their first two contests against Crosby (42-36) and Silsbee (30-23).

The Cardinals managed 215 yards on the ground last week against Newton and received a huge 89-yard kickoff return for a score by the swift Caleb Honeycutt. Quarterback Caleb DuBois and a host of young backs will look to generate some offense against the Bulldogs.

The Cardinals are averaging 166.5 yards a game, 139 of it on the ground.

The Cardinal defense is allowing 447.5 yards in two games, 300 of it on the ground as Newton rushed for 369 yards last week.

The Bulldogs went 10-3 last season and captured the 8-4A Division II crown for coach Darrell Barbay.

Seven starters returned to the Bulldog offense this year.  Returning to lead the multiple wing T offense is all-district quarterback Leotay Sells. Sharing the rushing load for Jasper will be all-district tailback Jerkarion Simmons, Lucas Collins, Kelton Johnson and Jarvis Wilson. Senior Lawrence Smith, who was all-district, and Nolan Smith will see action as tight end.  The Bulldogs return a veteran offensive line as senior center Ryan Logan will be joined by senior guard Cisco Salis and senior tackles Kaleb Barnett and Matt Powers.

Seven starters returned on defense as well sparked by all-district linebackers Will Bluitt and Collins along with all-district defensive backs Reece Durand and Cam Adams.

The Cardinals will have a bye week next week and will open up 10-4A Division I play Oct. 13 at Cleveland.