The Port Arthur News
BRIDGE CITY —
Ashton Hunter was sitting at 995 yards on the year and was on the sideline when Hardin-Jefferson took over with 2:16 left on the clock Friday night.
Hunter had just scored on a two-yard run to give the Cardinals a 13-0 lead and it seemed it would be another week’s wait until the Bridge City running back could try for 1,000 yards.
The Hawks only ran five plays and the Cardinals got the ball back in time for Hunter to get his yards and Bridge City held off Hardin-Jefferson 13-0 at Larry B. Ward Stadium.
Hunter now has 1,010 yards on the year and the Cardinals are 3-1 in District 21-3A play with games against West Orange-Stark and Orangefield left on the schedule.
“I have to tip my hat to the Hawks because those guys were hitting me hard that first half,” Hunter said. “They were gang tackling. I just had to trust my line and keep going hard play after play. I set a goal for 1,200 yards before the season and I like being closer to that goal and closer to the playoffs.”
Friday’s win for the Cardinals was not the prettiest win and it came down to the Bridge City offensive line doing its job all night long in a cold, windy stadium.
Bridge City rushed for 251 yards on 42 carries behind its line and in the fourth quarter the Hawks’ defensive line was no match for the Cardinals.
The Cardinals were leading 6-0 when Bridge City started a drive with 9:59 left in the game.
Hunter rushed 11 times in a drive that contained 16 plays and the final run was a two-yard touchdown to cushion the lead.
Bridge City scored its first touchdown way back in the first period with 5:30 left.
Adrian Schubart caught a five yard touchdown reception from Daniel Faulk on the Cardinals’ second series of the game. The PAT failed.
The Hawks never made it easy for Bridge City during the first half and threatened to score several times.
Hunter Stout came up huge for Bridge City in the first quarter by recovering a Hardin-Jefferson fumble inside Cardinals’ territory.
The Hawks then pushed themselves down to the Bridge City 6-yard line but the Cardinals blocked a field goal attempt to keep alive what would become Bridge City’s second consecutive shut out.
“It was cold and windy all night and that never leads to a pretty football game,” Bridge City Coach Cris Stump said. “We had to run the football and I credit our offensive line for doing a great job. We threw when we needed to but we knew we had to run the ball. It felt great to get a little breathing room there in the fourth quarter. We are all proud of Hunter and his mark and also applaud our line and offensive coaches. There is still work to be done.”
The work to be done starts with next week’s trip to Dan R. Hooks Stadium to face the No. 6 West Orange-Stark Mustangs. The Mustangs are 8-0 and Friday posted their sixth shut out in eight games with a 40-0 win Friday over Buna.
“You know when you face the Mustangs you have to have your A game,” Hunter said. “Those guys are beyond great on defense. I know I will have to get down behind my line and run hard. We have two big games in a row but it starts with the toughest one of the year. They are tough and we respect them a lot but we are ready for the challenge.”