El Campo lives large against rival Bay City
BAY CITY - El Campo senior Trey Martin enjoyed looking at the scoreboard as he left Memorial Stadium, but he didn't quite comprehend the significance.
Martin knew his jersey number matched the Ricebirds' point total in a 56-7 win over Bay City on Friday night.
But he wasn't aware El Campo had posted the biggest margin of victory in the 109th edition of the state's longest continuous rivalry.
"I didn't know that," Martin admitted. "I'm happy I've got my number up there though."
The Ricebirds (3-0) thoroughly dominated the Blackcats (0-2) en route to their seventh consecutive victory over their rivals.
With El Campo dropping to Class 3A, the teams played as non-district opponents for the first time since 1979, but it didn't stop the Ricebirds from increasing their advantage in the series to 57-43-9.
"I'm happy with the win over Bay City," said Martin, who has committed to Rice. "I've never lost to them through high school so I'm satisfied and happy."
El Campo rushed for 303 yards and was 6 for 6 on third-down conversions. Bay City gained only 132 yards and 60 of those came on its final possession.
"I think we played very well," Martin said. "I think we blocked real well, we ran the ball well and the score showed it."
Bay City's Titus Franklin returned the game's opening kickoff 85 yards to set up a 2-yard touchdown run by Max Self.
But the Blackcats did not penetrate El Campo territory again until its final possession when the Ricebirds had a number of reserves in the game.
"After that opening kickoff, it woke us up or something," said El Campo coach Bob Gillis. "Our guys played well and they played for four quarters."
El Campo bullied the Bay City at the line of scrimmage. The Ricebirds never punted and the Blackcats had only five first downs and none in the first or third quarters.
"We feel like we've got a pretty good line both sides of course some of them play both ways," Gillis said. "In order for us to be successful, we've got to have a good line. As long as we're making blocks and getting 3, 4, 5 yards a shot we'll be fine."
El Campo had seven players run the ball and they all accounted for positive yardage. Jack Davis led the way with 94 yards and one touchdown and added two catches for 34 yards.
Montary Johnson had 85 yards and one touchdown, B.J. Flagg had 51 yards and three touchdowns, and Keith Sparks had 44 yards and one touchdown.
"We've got a pretty good combination of running backs," Johnson said. "All of us run hard and all of us block for each other and we all love each other as a team."
The Blackcats were often their own worst enemy. The fumbled twice and lost one, and were penalized nine times for 45 yards, including a series where they were penalized on three consecutive plays.
"We've just got to get better all the way across," said first-year Bay City coach Dan Burk. "We've got to get meaner, we've got to get tougher, we've got to get more physical, we've got to get more confidence in our execution. We know we've got a lot of work to do."
Gillis feels the same way about the Ricebirds, but liked what he saw against their long-time rivals.
"Bay City-El Campo is a big game," he said. "The kids were excited about it and the town was excited about it and it's about all they talked about all week. We'll see how we follow up with (Richmond) Foster next week."