Matthew Bridges, Bushland football, Sr.
On the field: Bushland’s defense was on the field a long time in last week’s Class 3A Division I area round game against Jim Ned, and no one was busier in the front seven than middle linebacker Bridges. Jim Ned’s ball control running game kept Bushland’s defense on the field for 32 minutes, but Bridges never tired, as he made an astounding 24 tackles to clean things up in a 28-10 victory in a clash between two top 10 teams. Bridges had 13 solo tackles along with eight assists and three for losses to help contain Jim Ned’s running game. Offensively, the Falcons came through with some big plays when they had the chance to make the difference in the game. Bridges will lead Bushland’s defense against talented Brock in the regional round Friday at Vernon.
Coach Josh Reynolds: “Matt’s a three-year starter for us. He started every game for us at mike linebacker as a sophomore and every game last year, so he’s got a ton of experience for us on our defense. He kind of runs the show. We knew they were going to run the ball so there are going to be a lot of opportunities when a team runs the football that much. He did a great job and he’d be the first one to tell you that his defensive line helps a lot with guys like Charley Pitt and Easton Fuentes. Quenton Shrewsbury played some linebacker for us and hadn’t really done that much this year. I think they just fed off each other. We’re real proud of him. He was definitely ready. They have a big lineman who committed to Oklahoma State last week. I honestly don’t know where (24 single game tackles) ranks, but it’s about the most I remember an individual having in one game.”
Bridges: “I played my role and our D-linemen did their jobs. Lining up next to Quenton Shrewsbury, he just blows things up no matter what, so I kind of get to be the clean up crew for them. It reflected good on me, but in reality it’s not possible without them. I didn’t find out until Saturday when I was kind of watching film and it added up. After the game I was excited to win and that’s all that mattered. As far as personal goals I don’t see it that way, I was just in the right spot to do the right things and that’s what it comes down to. Stepping up on a big stage when it matters is all that counts. I started to pick up on what (Jim Ned) wanted to do, how they wanted to do it and it comes down to other people doing their jobs. If someone doesn’t blow up a hole, I don’t get to do what I’ve got to do. All that mattered is that we executed as a team.”
Favorite band or musician: Billy Joel
Favorite social media platform: Snapchat
Favorite athlete: Alex Bregman
Bet you didn’t know: Plays a lot of chess
Parents: John Bridges and Deanne Cisco