Mustangs travel to Bridge City for battle with the Cardinals

Published 12:08 am Saturday, October 14, 2023

BRIDGE CITY — It was a scary story in the making for West Orange-Stark, as the Bridge City Cardinals gave the Mustangs everything they could handle for three quarters.

In the end, West Orange-Stark’s offense did just enough to claim a 28-14 district win over Bridge City on Friday night.

Bridge City struck first following a scoreless first quarter. The Cardinals started the drive at their own 38-yard line, and the Bridge City offense, led by quarterback Hutch Bearden, steadily moved the ball downfield with a mix of runs and passes to keep the WO-S defense off balance.

Bearden scored on a 4-yard quarterback draw and gave Bridge City a 7-0 lead with 8:14 remaining in the second quarter.

The Mustangs offense moved the ball downfield late in the half but was unable to reach the end zone, as the Cardinals defense rose to the occasion to leave Bridge City ahead 7-0 at intermission.

West Orange-Stark’s defense held Bridge City on its first possession of the third quarter and forced the Cardinals to punt.

The Mustangs offense took advantage of favorable field position as quarterback Marcus Turner Jr. directed WO-S for 46 yards in seven plays.

Turner dropped back and found Nicholas Crosson open for a 22-yard strike to take an 8-7 lead after Turner’s successful two-point run.

After holding Bridge City to a three-and-out, the Mustangs offense flashed its quick strike capability with a 50-yard touchdown pass from Turner to Key’shawn Robinson four plays later, giving WO-S a 14-7 lead following the missed extra point kick.

The Cardinals responded with a speedy drive of their own. Bearden directed the offense, using a mix of runs and passes to move the ball 71 yards in six plays in barely more than two minutes.

A key play to keep the drive alive was a 17-yard pass to Abraham Mungia. A few plays later it was Bearden ripping off a 33-yard jaunt around the left side for a Cardinals touchdown to even the score 14-14 early in the fourth quarter.

The Mustangs offense proved to be just a bit too much in the end as Turner added a 5-yard rushing touchdown midway through the fourth quarter to make the score, 22-14.

After forcing a Cardinals turnover-on-downs, Turner hit receiver William Pitre in the back corner of the end zone on a 7-yard touchdown pass to give WO-S a 28-14 win over Bridge City.

West Orange-Stark (4-4, 2-2) returns home next Friday to take on the Jasper Bulldogs (4-3, 2-1) in a key matchup for playoff positioning.

Jasper was off this week.

Bridge City (2-5, 0-3) travels to Sour Lake next Friday to take on the Hardin-Jefferson Hawks (0-7, 0-3).

The Hawks lost to Hamshire-Fannett, 49-12, on Friday.

— Written by Tommy Mann Jr.