"Bay City, El Campo face off in state’s longest rivalry Friday night" by: Mike Reddell

Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell
Bay City’s sophomore wide receiver Chris Lara (1) makes a move on a Sealy defensive back. Lara was Bay City’s leading receiver with 93 yards in the Blackcats’ 53-44 victory Friday.

   Blackcat Head Coach Lupe Florez prefers rivalry games, over homecomings.
   This Friday, he’ll get Texas’ longest running high school rivalry when Bay City (6-2, 3-2) tees it up against El Campo (6-2, 4-1) at Ricebird Stadium.
   El Campo holds the 61-43-9 advantage in the 116 games played – the series began in 1911 - between schools that are about 30 miles apart.
   And it has been since 2005 since Bay City’s last victory over the Ricebirds.
   “If we can beat El Campo by seven, we’ll win district,” Florez said after his Blackcats defeated Sealy 53-44 last Friday night.
   “The good thing about rivalry games is they are better than homecoming,” he added.
   “You can throw every prediction out with El Campo.”
   While El Campo’s 4-1 record puts the Ricebirds atop the District 12-4A-1 standings, there are Brazosport, Bay City and Needville (in that order) close behind, all with 3-2 district marks. 
   In addition to the Bay City-El Campo contest’s importance to the Blackcats, Brazosport and Needville also square off this Friday and that game also has big district playoff implications.
   “We’ve got to learn not to have bad games but we’ve got to start fast and finish strong,” Florez also said after the win over Sealy.
   The Blackcats trailed until the final 54 seconds and, at one point, were behind 26 points to the Tigers.
   “Sealy is really good at what they do – they were going where we weren’t.
   “But the beauty of (Bay City’s) kind of offense is we can get back. 
   “When you have No. 2 you can make a big difference,” Florez remarked about the standout performance of junior quarterback Dylan Davidson, who was 29-47-2 for 337 yards passing, with four touchdowns, and rushed for 233 yards.
   “I’m so proud of them,” Florez said of the Blackcats overall team effort that cut the Tigers’ lead from 10 points to three points in the fourth quarter and capped it with a touchdown and pick six with less than a minute to play. 
   “Our kids have been in there battling, and finding the extra drive. Our kids don’t quit.”

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