The Alvarado Indians lived up to their preseason ninth-place ranking in Class 3A Texas football when they ran over the Bridgeport Bulls in a 64-13 rout Friday night.
As the sun set and the blue moon rose over Charles Head Stadium the Indians wasted no time striking the first blow.
On the fourth play of the first possession of the game senior running back Lee Hardy leaped over a fallen Bridgeport defender as he broke a 27-yard run into the endzone. After Bridgeport turned the ball over on downs, the Indians scored on their second possession with a strong 4-yard touchdown run by Hardy. Hardy scored on two more rushing touchdowns before the night was finished, including a 29 and a 3 yarder.
Speedy defensive back and runningback Marcus McNeil also caused headaches for the Bulls.
At the start of the second quarter, McNeil broke a 31-yard touchdown run that began with a leap over one bull, side-stepping another, and stiff-arming a third before he cranked up the speed. Later in the quarter he snagged an errant pass from sophomore quarterback Trey Cook and returned it 60 yards for a touchdown.
The Bulls limped into the locker room down 41-0 at halftime.
“Alvarado is an awfully good,” said Bridgeport Coach Danny Henson. “They are every bit as good as publicized.
“We had some players that played hard and well, but we have to get more physical.”
One of those players was runningback Gabe Huerta. The senior put Bridgeport on the board in the third quarter with a 9-yard dash into the endzone.
But nothing would go Bridgeport’s way. On the point after, the Indians blocked the attempt and the speedster McNeil scooped up the ball and zipped 93-yards the other way for two points for the Indians.
Bridgeport would score one more time when Huerta plowed a tough 10-yard run up the middle for a touchdown early in the fourth. He finished with 140 yards on 18 carries and two touchdowns.
Henson switched quarterbacks early. Starter Hunter Gantt hurt his ankle and was replaced by sophomore Trey Cook.
“We had a lot of guys out there playing their first varsity games,” Henson said.
He didn’t say who would start next week versus Abilene Wylie.
“If one is playing well we’ll play that guy more,” Henson said of his quarterbacks.
Henson hopes his team learned from the game.
“We can’t feel sorry for ourselves,” Henson said. “We just have to get more physical and hopefully improve when we play next week.”
ALVARADO 64, BRIDGEPORT 13
Bridgeport … 0 … 0 … 6 … 7-13
Alvarado … 14 … 27 … 16 … 7-64
Alvarado – 9:53; Lee Hardy 27-yard run, Gabriel Favela PAT
Alvarado – 2:26; Hardy 3-yard run, Favela PAT
Alvarado – 11:14; Marcus McNeil 31-yard run, Favela PAT
Alvarado – 11:01; Hardy 29-yard run, Favela PAT
Alvarado – 9:32; Hayden Walraven 5-yard run, PAT blocked
Alvarado – 10:50; Hardy 3-yard run, Favela PAT
Bridgeport – 4:54; Gabe Huerta 9-yard run, PAT blocked and returned 93 yards by McNeil for 2 points
Alvarado – 1:44; Andrew Leger 13-yard run, Favela PAT
Bridgeport – 11:59; Huerta 10-yard run, Chris Hernandez PAT
Alvarado – 8:09; Walraven 2-yard run, Favela PAT
BRIDGEPORT … ALVARADO
First downs … 20 … 30
Rushes … 35-211 … 39-426
Passing … 55 … 58
Total yards … 266 … 284
Passes … 6-17-1 … 5-6-0
Punt … 2-29 … 2-44.5
Penalties … 0 … 6-80
Rushing: Bridgeport – Huerta 18-140-2; Alvarado – Hardy 12-150-3;
Passing: Bridgeport – Trey Cook 5-14-52; Alvarado – Kenny West 5-6-58
Receiving: Bridgeport – Jacob Kerr 3-39; Alvarado – Jared McCarver 3-33