ALVIN — Late mistakes cost High Island in a 62-55 loss to Brazosport Christian in Thursday’s season-opening game at the Living Stones tournament.

In typical six-man football style, the team with the ball last had a chance to take home the win. The Cardinals were driving late before losing a fumble at the Eagles’ 21 with 2:15 remaining.

Brazosport was able to run out the clock to hold on to the victory.

“We just didn’t take care of the football tonight,” High Island coach Brent Williamson said. “We dropped a touchdown pass and fumbled once going into the end zone. We’re driving at the end of the game and fumbled again.

“You’ve got to secure the ball to win a football game. We didn’t do that.”

The Cardinals got off to a positive start with kickoff returns of 65 yards by Dalton DeMoss and 52 yards from Oliver Knipe on the way to a quick 16-0 advantage.

Brazosport quickly restored the game’s competitive balance by rolling out its spread offense.

Employing two backs and a variety of passing options, the Eagles were continually able to befuddle the inexperienced Cardinal defense.

“Our defense lost five good seniors (to graduation), so we knew that was going to hurt us,” Williamson said. “When you lose five skilled players and try to replace them with younger ones, it’s a challenge. The young ones are going to have to step up and learn how to fight.”

High Island countered with a bruising rushing attack, which is considered an anomaly in the pass-happy six-man football game.

Knipe ran the ball 19 times for 205 yards and four touchdowns. DeMoss added 103 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries.

Kayhlib Sarles added a score in rushing for 53 yards.

Once the Cardinals polish up their blocking and execution, they will have the ability to slow down high-scoring opponents much like larger 11-man teams can do.

“We do have some strength there,” Williamson said of his offense. “I don’t know if we were out of shape. We were struggling with cramps. I think it affected us a little bit more. We didn’t bounce back like we should have.”

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