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Blackcats go back to work after loss to El Campo

Sept. 19, 2012 at 4:19 a.m.

El Campo's Jeffrey Orise makes his way through the line of scrimmage as he runs the ball during the first quarter of Friday night's game at Memorial Stadium in Bay City. The Ricebirds defeated the Blackcats 56-7.

El Campo's Jeffrey Orise makes his way through the line of scrimmage as he runs the ball during the first quarter of Friday night's game at Memorial Stadium in Bay City. The Ricebirds defeated the Blackcats 56-7.   Angeli Wright for The Victoria Advocate

BY MIKE FORMAN

MFORMAN@VICAD.COM

Bay City players and coaches were back at work on Saturday morning doing their best to put Friday night's result behind them.

The Blackcats dropped to 0-2 after losing for the seventh straight time to El Campo.

The Ricebirds' 56-7 win at Memorial Stadium was the largest margin of victory in the 109-year history of the state's longest continuous rivalry.

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.

Bay City's last win over El Campo was a 28-21 decision in 2005.

"We've got a lot of work to do," said first-year Bay City coach Dan Burk after the game. "Every time we walk out on the field it's an opportunity to see where we are and what more work we've got to do. Our kids are ready to go to work tomorrow morning."

The Blackcats have a lot of areas to get better. El Campo (3-0) averaged nearly 7.4 yards per carry while rushing for 303 yards. The Ricebirds never punted and went 6 for 6 on third-down attempts.

"We didn't get any breaks or anything like that," Burk said. "It would have been nice to have a few fumbles or a couple of interceptions or something go or make a big play. They're good and they do a great job. Give them a lot of credit. Coach (Bob) Gillis does a great job over there. They've been doing it for 15 years, same thing."

Bay City struggled on offense. The Blackcats managed only five first downs and 132 total yards.

Titus Franklin returned the game's opening kickoff 85 yards to set up quarterback Max Self's 2-yard touchdown run.

But the Blackcats did not cross midfield again until their final possession of the game.

Bay City lost yardage on seven plays and had only three plays from scrimmage that went for 10 or more yards.

"We've just got to get better all the way across," Burk said. "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're probably going to simplify a few things just to be able to do some things better. We know we've got a lot of work to do."

El Campo had seven runners carry the ball and they all had positive yardage.

Quarterback Bryce Brandl threw only four passes but completed three of them for 64 yards.

"After that opening kickoff, it woke us up or something," Gillis said. "Our guys played well and they played for four quarters."

The Blackcats visit Victoria West (2-1) on Friday before opening District 23-4A play at Brazosport on Sept. 28.

"We're going to get there," Burk said. "It will be this year or maybe next year, but we'll get there."

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