Cards face formidable Diboll unit

Published 8:33 am Wednesday, August 29, 2018

BRIDGE CITY — After getting a good look at a young squad, first-year Bridge City coach Allen DeShazo will take his young Cardinals on the road in their season opener at Diboll Friday night against the Lumberjacks.

The Cardinals looked good in their two scrimmages, one against Buna and the other against Hamshire-Fannett as they look to play for “real” Friday night against a very talented Diboll unit.

Bridge City will look to erase a 1-7 2017 campaign in which they were beset by injury after injury as they failed to make the playoffs for the first time in three years.

“The kids have really been getting after it and working hard,” said DeShazo. “They really had a good spring getting into shape in the offseason program. You can tell it really showed in practices and scrimmages. Last season was tough with all the injuries we went through, plus Harvey. The kids, you can just tell, want to get better and they’re grasping everything we’re teaching them.”

Senior quarterback Cace Skinner will take over the vaunted Cardinal offense and has some quality backs to get the ball too.

Junior fullback Andy Lara, who suffered a leg injury last season, is back in full force and has been a beast in the scrimmages. Rylan should also see plenty of touches after stepping in and playing well last season. Jacob Cunningham returns to man the center position while Adam Snyder looks to make his mark in the trenches on both sides of the ball.

The Lumberjacks are led by former Orangefield head coach Blake Morrison, who has led Diboll to three straight playoff appearances. However, Diboll fell early in bidistrict each of those times and are motivated for sure to get over the hump after last year’s 6-4 campaign.

The Lumberjacks return 11 starters, five on offense and six on defense.

Diboll has a superb backfield, including 1,000-yard running back Herbert Gums, who is just a junior and fellow back Darius McMillan as they will look to help newcomer quarterback Dylan Maskunas adapt.

The Lumberjacks are solid on defense as well with all-district returners at linebacker in Gums and Brady Jordan.

This will certainly be a stout test for a young Cardinals team as they will have their mettle tested early on in non-district with their first two games on the road. Bridge City will visit Jasper next week.