BUNA, Texas —
Rebecca Stump will be busy trying to take a few years off her husband Cris Stump’s age after the Bridge City Cardinals put their coach through a lot of stress Friday night.
Bridge City fell behind 24 points against Buna in very quick fashion before pulling off a remarkable comeback that ended with a 28-24 Cardinals’ victory.
“Everything that could go wrong in the first half happened, then happened again and another four times,” Stump said. “We have to give a lot of credit to Buna but we also were hurting ourselves on offense and defense. We dropped touchdowns and missed a ton of tackles.”
Three times the Cardinals basically were spectators as the Cougars scored on runs of 57, 46 and 65 yards.
No matter how great Buna’s rushing attack looked in the first half because Bridge City’s defense had all the answers in the second half and Ashton Hunter decided he was going to be the offensive star of the game.
Hunter’s first of three touchdowns came in the second quarter after Buna jumped ahead 24-0.
Hunter turned a simple pitch and catch from quarterback Daniel Faulk into a 45-yard touchdown reception as the Cardinals’ went into the half down 24-6.
Hunter then turned the second half into his own offensive party at Cougars Stadium.
He first scored on a 50-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to bring the Cardinals to within 24-14 after Nick Portacci ran in a two-point conversion.
Tanner Cervanka got into the mix in the fourth by hauling in a 39-yard touchdown reception from Faulk. Thomas Findlay did his important part by knocking home the extra point.
Then Bridge City got even more dramatic on defense and lastly one more time on offense.
Buna, who ran for 291 yards on 40 carries, picked up a couple of first downs yet it was missing a fourth down conversion which doomed the Cougars. It gave Bridge City the ball back with plenty of time to work some magic.
Faulk thought at one point he had just thrown the game winning touchdown pass to Adrian Shubarth from 42 yards out. The refs in Buna had a different idea by calling Bridge City for holding.
Hunter finally had enough and decided 42 yards really was not that far too go. So he ran in all kinds of directions and turned the 42 yards into a nice highlight reel run before deciding on the right side of the endzone.
Hunter’s 42-yard touchdown run and Findlay’s kick put the Redbirds up for good.
“I knew I had to get into the endzone and I was going to do everything I could on that play to score,” Hunter said. “It wasn’t fourth down but I wanted us to get our scoring over because our defense was not going allow them to score. This win is huge for our team. We came back in the second half and made a statement. The first half was some of the roughest I have ever been apart of in my career.”
Shubarth and the Carinals defense was a completely different team in the second half. The Cardinals put tackling as a top priority and Buna was kept away from scoring on the big plays.
Buna went up 24-0 basically the same way Bridge City started to catch up. The Cougars used big plays to chew up big chunks of yards and then never stopped running until reaching the endzone.
Running back Matthew Briddle kicked things off with a 57-yard run and the game was barely two minutes old. Quarterback Glenn Patrick ran in a two-point conversion.
Patrick, who rushed for 67 yards in the game, then struck for a 46-yard quarterback keeper and then converted another two-point conversion.
Briddle must have got a little jealous of his quarterback getting into the scoring action because Briddle scored the Cougars last touchdown from 65 yards out. Briddle finished the night with 291 yards on the ground.
Bridge City had 243 yards on the ground and Faulk threw for 95 yards on 8-for-19 passing.
The Cardinals will take a mini-vacation from 21-3A play next week when Bridge City travels to face Jasper.
Bridge City 28
BC 0 6 8 14 — 28
Buna 16 8 0 0 — 0
BUNA — Matthew Briddle 57 run. Glenn Patrick run.
BUNA — Patrick 48 run. Patrick run.
BUNA — Braddle 65 run. Patrick run.
BC — Ashton Hunter 45 pass from Daniel Faulk. Kick fail.
BC — Hunter 50 run. Nick Portacci run.
BC — Tanner Cervenka 39 pass from Faulk. Thomas Findlay kick.
BC — Hunter 42 run. Findlay kick.
First downs 14 10
Rushes-yards 30-243 38-288
Passing 95 29
Comp-Att-Int 8-19-0 3-9-0
Fumbles-Lost 3-0 1-1
Penalties-yards 5-45 6-35
Rushing: Bridge City; Ashton Hunter 19-216, Daniel Faulk 11-27. Buna Matthew Briddle 17-185, Glenn Patrick 9-67, Perry Smith 12-36, Ethan Chandler 2-3.
Passing: Bridge City; Faulk 8-19-0 95. Buna; Patrick 3-9-0 29.
Receiving: Bridge City; Tanner Cervenka 3-56, Collin Smith 3-25, Ashton Hunter 1-17, NIck Portacci 1-16. Buna; Briddle 2-22, Joseph Clark 1-7.