10-4A Division I football race should be wide open

Published 9:19 am Wednesday, October 11, 2017

It should be a battle to the final week in District 10-4A Division I as all six teams will certainly be in the hunt after what was a topsy-turvy non-district slate that saw teams miss a few games due to Hurricane Harvey plus a few games made up on the fly.

Last season it was Bridge City that edged out the Silsbee Tigers as the Cardinals captured the 10-4A crown and eventually went three rounds deep in the playoffs.

This season, the Cardinals (0-3) and Tigers (1-3) have been fighting some tough injuries along with tough schedules as other teams will be in the mix fighting for the crown.

Only the Huffman Falcons (2-1) have a winning record going into district play while the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears (1-2), Navasota Rattlers (2-3) and Cleveland Indians (2-2) will all have a say as it should be an interesting race all the way to Nov. 10.

LC-M will welcome in Silsbee in a nice showdown Friday at Battlin’ Bear Stadium.

The Bears were off last week after falling to a powerful Crosby team 58-14 two weeks ago. LC-M has a win over Orangefield (35-7) and a loss to Woodville (28-14) as well.

The Tigers fell to Alvin Shadow Creek last week (37-15) and also have losses against West Orange-Stark (34-17) in a game they led early in the third quarter, and to Newton (41-17) The Tigers defeated Jasper 30-23.

The Bears are averaging 285.4 yards a game.

Quarterback Ethan McCollum has completed 28-of-40 passes for 323 yards and has rushed for 139 yards on 28 carries.

The Bears have superb receivers in Katon Brown (713-210) and Dameon Morris (12-193). Senior tailback Chris Winters has rushed for 150 yards on 31 carries and is strong catching the ball along with being dangerous in the return game.

The Tigers, who will face a Bear defense that has allowed 249 yards a game thus far, is sparked by quarterback Jacob Collins, along with speedy receivers Kalon Barnes and Tre Lowe.

The Tigers have a beast in the backfield as well in the form of Adonis Thomas.

Bridge City, after a bye week, will look to find a winning formula by going on the road to face Cleveland.

The Cardinals have struggled early with an entirely new offensive line. They have also been without the services of speedy back Hunter Denton, who broke his leg in practice the week after a loss to WO-S and fullback Andy Lara. Lara is back now after the bye week. The Cardinals will look to get their rushing octane going against the Indians, sparked by quarterback Caleb DuBois and back Max Baker.

Bridge City’s schedule has been stout as well with losses against WO-S (39-6), Newton (55-14) and Jasper (44-14).

The Indians started 0-2 with losses to Liberty (16-13) and Brazosport (56-27) but have bounced back with wins against Hempstead (55-27) and Houston Kashmere (35-0).

Cleveland definitely has some explosive skill people including dynamic quarterback Jett Hendrix and backs Monroe Harding, Dylan Reeves and Montrail Searles.

The other 10-4A game will pit Navasota at Huffman.

Navasota is the only squad that was able to play all five non-district games.

The Rattlers have wins over Waller (41-21) and Stafford (35-6). Their losses include Franklin (36-35), Magnolia West (30-25) and Bryan last week (28-27 in OT).

The Falcons started their campaign with a loss to Willis (33-26) but bounced back with victories over Houston Worthing (33-20) and Columbus (41-26).