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Heckaman, Longhorns dart past Bridge City, 56-21

By Keagan Smith

Orange Leader

FANNETT – The Hamshire-Fannett Longhorns toppled the Bridge City Cardinals 56-21 in District 11-4A Division II action at Longhorn Field.

The Longhorns (4-2, 1-1) opened the game with a 13-play, 71-yard scoring drive. Senior quarterback Kheagian Heckaman capped it off with a 13-yard touchdown rush. The Longhorns failed to convert the extra point, jumping ahead 6-0.

On Bridge City’s first drive, Ethan Oceguera would pass for 40 yards before connecting with Braylen Collins for a nine-yard touchdown pass. After the PAT, the Cardinals took a 7-6 lead with under a minute left in the first quarter.

After an unsuccessful fourth-down conversion by the Longhorns, the Cardinals (2-3, 0-1) got the ball back. The Cards went three-and-out, but their punt was blocked into the end zone before being knocked out of the back of the end zone, resulting in a safety. Hamshire-Fannett retook the lead, 8-7.

The Longhorns received the ball again following a punt which was returned to the BC 46. Five plays later Heckaman threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Traevon Ford, increasing the Longhorns’ lead to 15-7.

On Bridge City’s next drive, Oceguera threw an interception to Hamshire-Fannett’s Austin Baker. On offense, the Longhorns’ Tyler Spencer broke free on an 18-yard run to set up a first-and-goal, and Heckaman punched in a 4-yard rush for a TD. The PAT was blocked, but HF pushed further ahead 21-7.

The Cards mishandled their next punt, which went backwards before being recovered by Hamshire-Fannett on the Cardinals’ 10. Heckaman would then scramble for his third rushing TD on the night. The PAT fell short, but the scoreboard read 27-7 Longhorns at the half.

The Cardinals scored first after halftime. Oceguera tossed a 46-yarder to Kyler Garlaska, who took it to the house for six. Bridge City pulled closer after the PAT, 27-14.

Soon after, Hamshire-Fannett’s offense fell right back into stride. Heckaman ran it in for his fourth rushing touchdown of the game, and then converted a two-point attempt to make it a 35-14 game.

At the start of the fourth quarter, the Cardinals lost a fumble, which Traevon Ford returned 14 yards to the end zone for a scoop-and-score. The Longhorns surged ahead 42-14.

Midway through the fourth, three consecutive plays resulted in turnovers: Hamshire-Fannett fumbled, the Cardinals threw an interception, and another HF fumble was returned by Joey Murty for a Cardinals touchdown. With nine minutes left, the scoreboard read 42-21.

Hamshire-Fannett would find the end zone on both of their final two possessions. Ford found an open lane down the sideline for a 65-yard rushing touchdown, and D’onte Zeno scrambled for a 30-yard score to close out the game.

The rain-soaked, muddy field likely had a hand in some of Bridge City’s miscues, but the Cardinals still struggled in their district opener. The Cardinals will look to bounce back at home for Homecoming against Hardin-Jefferson. The Hawks fell to WO-S 54-7 Friday night.

Hamshire-Fannett will have their bye week next week.