It was nothing short of an electric night last Thursday at Cy-Fair FCU Stadium as the Bears brought home the first-ever playoff win in the history of the school and punched their ticket to round two with a 41-18 victory.
The first quarter started off slow for the Bear and Tiger scoring. Defense on both sides capitalized on the anxious first possessions of each other’s offense and prevented anyone from scoring.
It wasn’t until mid to late into the quarter when Mason Culton broke the offensive spell for the Bears with an 81-yard touchdown. Defensive lineman Aaron Vital got in on the scoring action as well by recovering a fumble and carrying it to the endzone, making the score by the end of the quarter 14-0 Bridgeland.
Ethan Hajdik added three points to the Bridgeland lead with a field goal on the Bears’ first possession of the second quarter after a dime pass from Weigman to Wallis to the 11-yard line. This did not go unanswered, however, as Klein Collins quarterback and University of Arizona commit Colby Powers threw an absolute rocket in the pocket to running back Bruce Jackson III for the Tigers’ first touchdown of the night.
Shortly after, the Bears’ punched back with a bulldog-like drive into the endzone from running back Mason Culton, putting Bridgeland ahead 24-6.
The first half was capped off with an inspiring display of grit and perseverance out of the Bear defense. With 1st and goal after a shot from Powers to Jackson to the right corner near the endzone, the Bears managed to come out of it unscathed from scoring after breaking up 3 passes and a huge field goal block from Atrevion Hunter. Head coach David Raffield says that this resiliency is a testament to the foundation of his team so deep in the season.
“It shows that we’re growing, we’re maturing, and we’re becoming a better team. We’re taking care of one another, and it’s really awesome,” Raffield said.
The third quarter was quiet for both teams until 4-star quarterback Conner Weigman broke the silence and found Goffney in the endzone for a blue-and-orange touchdown with 4:56 left. Showing some fight, Powers kept it himself and put a touchdown on the board for Klein Collins after a consistent push out of the Tiger offense. The Tigers’ attempted to go for 2 points but were quickly shut down by a monster stop from Conner Motsinger.
In the final quarter of the game, Klein Collins tried to pull out all the stops and beautifully executed a trick play on offense to gain them yardage all the way to the 9-yard line. Their last-pitch effort didn’t go unnoticed, however, as Connor Gower intercepted the next pass out of Powers, carrying it all the way to the Bears’ 21-yard line.
The Bears took advantage of Gower’s efforts by then kicking a Hajdik field goal, increasing their lead to 34-12.
Vengeful from the last score from the Bears, Klein Collins quarterback Colby Powers came up big with a deep complete pass to wide receiver Ethan Wyatt in the endzone for a Tiger touchdown. The Tigers attempted to go for 2 points, but the attempt was no good once again; making the score 34-18 with 6:41 left in the game.
The game was capped off by Bear running back Mason Culton bullying his way through the Tiger defensive line into the endzone for a final Bear touchdown and making the final score of the game 41-18.
The key to Bridgeland’s success was without a doubt the dominance of their defense. Coach Raffield said the main focus in their preparation was finding a way to shut down a more run-heavy quarterback like Colby Powers.
“We’ve been planning for him all week and putting together some schemes to stop him. We knew playing to their run game was key to their defense today,” Raffield said.
The Bears will take on Spring Dekaney on Thursday, December 17th at CF-FCU Stadium at 7:00 pm. Along with looking forward to finding success in round 2 of UIL Playoffs, the Bears are also reflecting on what will go down as a game for the record books.
“It’s the first playoff win in the history of the school. I told these guys before it ever even started that this is awesome. No one will ever forget this. Every one of these kids.” Raffield said.