Cards head to Splendora to seek upset

Published 6:08 am Wednesday, November 7, 2018

BRIDGE CITY — After putting together their best performance of the season last week, the Bridge City Cardinals will look to go on the road Friday and try to upset District 11-4A Division I champion Splendora in their season finale.

The Cardinals (2-7, 1-3) dominated the Livingston Lions 28-7 last week to nab their first 11-4A win of the season. Meanwhile, the Wildcats (8-1, 4-0) clinched the top 11-4A playoff seed by going on the road and holding off the Lumberton Raiders 24-20.

Bridge City will look to chew up the Wildcats with a tough running game, one that chewed up 288 total yards against Livingston.

The Cardinals received a huge running effort from tailback Rylan Ply last week as he muscled his way to 141 yards on 18 carries. He was a nice 1-2 punch with fellow back Ethan Oceguera, who had 79 yards on 10 carries. Fullback Andy Lara has close to 400 yards rushing on the season.

Cardinal quarterback Cace Skinner has had his moments throwing the ball as well to receivers Jackson Tims and Blake Moore.

Very few people and magazines had Splendora capturing the district title after struggling in both 4A and 5A in recent years but coach Marcus Schulz had the Wildcats believing in the early going this year after they finished 2-7 in 5A last year, including 1-7 in district.

The Wildcats have been explosive on offense in both the running and passing game as the Cardinals, who limited Livingston to just 126 total yards last week, will look to slow them down.

Splendora quarterback Cody Thorndyke has completed 73-of-117 passes for 1,372 yards with 19 touchdowns and no interceptions. Receiver Tyler Gamble has hauled in 31 passes for 843 yards and 12 TDs while Dylan Matthews has 18 catches for 261 yards and a TD.

The Wildcats have a nice 1-2 punch in the backfield in seniors Jessie Paris and Kyle Weber. Paris has 655 yards and nine TDs on 104 carries while Weber has 649 yards and nine TDs on 92 totes. Matthews, also a dangerous return specialist, has also rushed for 499 yards and three TDs on just 42 carries.