Cards seek first win vs. Panthers

Published 9:44 am Tuesday, September 11, 2018

BRIDGE CITY — After a tough two-game road swing, a young group of Bridge City Cardinals will finally get a taste of home when they welcome in the Anahuac Panthers at Ward Stadium Friday night.

The Cardinals (0-2) will look to bounce back this week after falling at Jasper 45-7 last week after losing to Diboll 42-7 on the road in their opener.

The Panthers (1-1) will enter Friday’s game licking their wounds as well after falling to Edna 49-7 last week. Anahuac did get off to a nice start in their opener, downing Tarkington 33-13.

The Cardinals, who will be seeking the first win for first-year head coach Allen DeShazo, have moved the ball well at times but some costly turnovers and giving up too many big plays on defense have led to struggles early.

Bridge City is averaging nearly 250 yards a game but have seen a lot of solid drives get stalled.

The Cardinals gained nearly 200 yards on the ground in the loss to Jasper. Junior fullback Andy Lara bruised his way to 83 yards on 16 carries. Rylan Ply, along with Gavin Villanueava and Trenton Legrout have also shown flashes out of the backfield.

Bridge City quarterback Cace Skinner has shown flashes as well with a couple big gainers in the passing game.

The Cardinals are allowing 425 yards a game defensively after giving up 439 yards to the Bulldogs last week.

Bridge City has been prone to the big play as they have allowed seven TDs thus far that has went for more than 40 yards.

The Panthers are coming off a 4-5 season in which they missed the playoffs but head coach Jason Speights saw 13 starters come back this year, including seven on offense.

Anahuac has played a pair of quarterbacks early on in junior Tyrone Wilson, who was a all-district running back last season, along with senior Ski Wilpitz. Wilson had 736 yards on the ground a season ago. The Panthers also like to get the ball to Tanner Fugere and Foster Kreuzer.

All-District noseguard Alex Smith is stout in the defensive trenches for the Panthers.

This is the first of a two-game homestand for the Cardinals, who will play host to the Silsbee Tigers next week.