YOAKUM — Two of the top teams in District 12-3A, Division 1 clashed Friday evening in Yoakum.
The Bulldogs (5-1, 1-1) came into their game against the Columbus Cardinals (5-1, 2-0) ranked No. 6 in the state. Unfortunately for Yoakum, they ran into Kion Hurd, a workhorse running back. Hurd, behind a stout offensive line, ran the ball 23 times for 204 yards and two touchdowns to help Columbus cruise to a 35-14 victory.
“We just got whipped up front. The kids fought all game,” said Yoakum head coach Bo Robinson. “Hurd is a pretty good football player. He’s as good as we’ve seen this year.”
The scoring started for Columbus early in the first quarter when quarterback Ty Thomas kept the ball on a read-option play, scoring untouched around the left side of the Yoakum defense. The 17-yard run gave Columbus an early 7-0 lead.
A few costly penalties and a fumble caused the Bulldogs to stumble during their first possession, resulting in a punt attempt that went negative 2 yards.
The Cardinals took advantage of the generous field position and quickly scored on a Hurd 39-yard run, closing out the first quarter with a 14-0 lead.
The Bulldogs then put together a nice, time-consuming drive behind running backs Jaydon Jones (99 yards) and Deandre Enoch-Johnson (116 yards). They were able to run behind their solid offensive line. The successful drive concluded as Enoch-Johnson dove into the end zone from 3 yards out, cutting the Columbus lead in half.
The Cardinal offense struck quickly on their next possession, as Hurd broke free from 44 yards out to give his team a 21-7 lead heading into halftime.
The Columbus running game was a bit overwhelming for the Bulldog defense in the second half.
“They ran the ball good enough in the second half to keep the ball away from our offense,” said Robinson.
Midway through the third quarter, Thomas threw a strike to Kaycon Wilson for a 31-yard Cardinal touchdown.
Down 28-7 entering the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs continued to give it their all. Running back Jaydon Jones found the end zone late in the fourth quarter when he scored on a 13-yard run.
The Cardinals tacked on a final score with less that 2 minutes to play as Ty’Vone Whitehead ran into the end zone from 36 yards out, sealing a Cardinal victory.
Robinson is eager to see the Cardinals again.
“Hopefully, the next time we see them, we’ll beat them,” he said.
Yoakum quarterback Blake Gordon is ready to hit the practice field to get ready for next week’s key matchup against Hallettsville.
“We just have to practice harder. We can’t just go out there and expect to win every football game. Tonight humbled us. It let us know we can be beat,” he said.
The Bulldogs will look to regroup next week when they take on Hallettsville in a key district matchup.