Columbus vs. La Grange
The Cardinals are coming off a tough 14-7 loss against the Gonzales Apaches and face long time local rival the La Grange Leopards. Columbus has not beaten the Leopards since the 1998 season.
The Cardinals started the game off looking good on both defense and offense. They held the Leopards from scoring on their drives and that gave their offense some confidence and momentum. Columbus struck first after a nice drive with Pflughaupt scoring on a TD run from 1 YD out with 3:06 remaining in the first quarter. Columbus held the Leopards and ended the first quarter on top 7-0.
The Cardinals were riding their momentum in the first quarter and capped off a nice drive with a 20 YD FG from Neisner with 7:07 remaining in the second quarter. Columbus got the ball back and struck fast with a 61 YD TD run by Pflughaupt with 4:25 remaining in the second quarter. That was Pflughaupts second rushing TD of the night. The Cardinals defense looked strong and shut out the Leopards in the first half. Columbus ended the first half on top 17-0. This was the Cardinals first first half shut out of the season.
The Cardinals have not had a lead like this, so it was interesting to see how they would respond. The Leopards got the ball and had a solid drive to show the Cardinals they were here to play. La Grange struck first in the second half with a 5 YD TD run to cut into the lead. With 7:21 remaining int the third quarter Columbus was up 17-8. The Cardinals responded like a team that was not going to go succumb to the pressure with a 45 YD TD pass from Pflughaupt to Evans. It was a great pass with Evans using his speed to get yards after the catch and score. With 4:28 remaining in the third quarter, the Cards were up 24-8. Once again the Cardinals defense stood strong and did not let the Leopards gain any momentum. To end the third quarter the Cardinals were up 24-8.
The fourth quarter is where games are won. Unfortunately this year the Cardinals have been on the wrong side of a few games this year in the fourth. For well coached teams and disciplined players failures turn into great lessons to be used in the future. That is exactly what the Cardinals did. They held the Leopards on offense and once again struck with a big play. Evans scored again with a 36 YD TD run. Once Evans got passed the initial defensive front he took it to the house. He would not be caught with this speed. It doesn’t matter how big you are, if they can’t catch you they can’t tackle you. With 5:29 left in the fourth quarter the Cards were up 31-8. With 2:47 left in the fourth the Leopards scored on a 55 YD fumble recovery on a missed pitch. The Cardinals settled down and Hurd recovered the onside kick attempt by the Leopards. Columbus line up in victory formation and won the game 31-15.
The Cardinals have not beaten Sealy and La Grange in the same year since 1993. Columbus has been in every game this year besides one. Even with a 2-6 record now (1-2 in District play), I think the Cards have learned what it takes to be consistent and win in tight games. Both the passing and running game were in sync. The defense played smart and aggressive. With this win it puts the Cardinals back in playoff contention. They will need another big win next week against Smithville to keep playoff hopes alive. The Cardinals play Smithville in Columbus on Friday, October 28 @ 7:30.
Pflughaupt 5 for 7 91 Yards 1 TD and 0 INT
Estrada 4 Receptions for 48 Yards
Evans 1 Reception for 45 Yards 1 TD
Pflughaupt 20 Rushes for 151 Yards 2 TDs
Bubak 14 Rushes for 63 Yards
Evans 2 Rushes for 34 Yards 1 TD