End of an Era

Varsity’s postseason run comes to an end 48-13 at Tomball ISD Stadium.


Alex VanderLaan

The bears run out to start the game

Alex Vanderlaan and Eric Venkatesan

On Saturday, Dec. 4, Bridgeland took on Tomball in round four of the UIL playoffs at Tomball ISD Stadium. Both teams played with methodical, slow offenses throughout the first half. The Cougars started off the game strong with a 48 yard rushing touchdown from quarterback Cale Hellums on the first drive of the game. Bridgeland’s offense took the field and attempted to level the score. With four minutes remaining in the first quarter, Bridgeland turned the ball over on downs on Tomball’s side of the field, keeping the score at 7-0.

Bears make a tackle (Alex VanderLaan)

Both defenses continued to dominate the game as no offense could gain momentum early in the second quarter. Tomball broke the scoring drought halfway through the quarter with a rushing touchdown. The rest of the quarter played out with little offensive success, leaving the halftime score at 14-0 in favor of Tomball.

After making halftime adjustments, Bridgeland and Tomball were caught up in a high scoring second half. The Bears opened the third quarter with a touchdown of their own. Receiver Jonathan Nelson caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Josh Stephens and put Bridgeland on the scoreboard. The Cougars quickly responded with another rushing touchdown, but the extra point attempt was blocked, leaving the score at 20-7.

Turnovers played a vital role in the game midway through the second half. Tomball recovered a kickoff that bounced off of a Bridgeland player that gave the Cougars great field position. Hellums scored a one yard rushing touchdown on the resulting drive, extending their lead to 20 points. The Bear offense had another chance to cut the Cougar lead, but ended up fumbling the ball after a failed backwards lateral pass. Hellums responded with a passing touchdown to receiver Derrick Taylor to push the lead to 34-7. On the following kickoff, Tomball recovered an onside kick and capitalized on another Bridgeland turnover. With 19 seconds left in the quarter, the Cougars scored another passing touchdown and ended the quarter up 41-7.

Joshua Ryan returns the kick (Alex VanderLaan)

Scoring slowed down for Tomball in the final quarter of play. On the first offensive drive of the fourth, Stephens threw an interception to the Cougar defense. Tomball’s offense drove down the field and scored for the final time off of another quarterback keeper run for Hellums. The rest of the quarter played out slow, mainly in the running game. Bridgeland running back Mason Culton carried the ball into the endzone for a touchdown with just over two minutes left. The Bears fumbled on the field goal attempt, leaving the final score at 48-13.

With that loss, Bridgeland’s football season came to an end. This 2021 Bear team went further in the UIL football playoffs than any team before them, making school history. Next year’s team will start to develop as the seniors leave.The Bears will get ready to follow up this historic season, starting with the work they put in during the offseason.