Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader
A decade-long drought came to an end Friday night as the Bobcats are headed to the playoffs.
The Orangefield Bobcats used its power running game, dominated by both Carl Wiley and Carmichael Wiley, to defeat Bridge City 35-14 in the annual Bayou Bowl. The victory also sealed the Bobcats first trip to the playoffs since 2003.
“I’m excited for the kids, the community and the coaching staff,” said Josh Smalley, coach of the Orangefield Bobcats. “For a team that hasn’t been to the playoffs in 10 years, this is a huge building block for our kids. It was 365 days ago that we lost the final game of the season. That following Monday these guys made it their mission to get better and make the playoffs. It’s great to see them set goals and accomplish those goals.”
Orangefield (6-4, 3-3) will take on the District 22-3A champions Coldspring Trojans (8-1, 6-0) at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 15, at Huffman High School in the Class 3A Region III Division II Bi-District playoffs.
It looked to a high-scoring game from the onset as Bridge City took the opening kick-off and marched 67 yards in 3 minutes and 20 seconds, and a 7-0 lead courtesy of a four yard run by Jhett Simmons.
The Bobcats responded on its first possession as the team used its Slot-T running attack to slice and dice the Cards defense. Carl Wiley capped off the 65 yard scoring drive with a 2 yard run to tie the score following kicker Matthew Rainey’s extra point with nearly 6 minutes remaining in the opening quarter.
Bridge City (2-8, 1-5), led by junior quarterback Chase Shugart, picked the Bobcats defense apart with a steady mix of pass and run. On second down and 10 from the Bobcats 30 yard line, Shugart dropped back and found Blaine Slaughter a step ahead of the Bobcats defender in the back corner of the end zone for another score and a 14-7 lead.
Orangefield took the ball on its next possession from its own 33 yard line. Quarterback Carmichael Wiley peeled off a big 24 yard gain on the first play from scrimmage and set up the Bobcats in Cards territory. A few plays later Carmichael found his brother Carl Wiley streaking through the middle of the defense for a 26 yard scoring toss and a 14-14 tie with 58 seconds left in the first quarter.
Shugart and the Cards looked to strike quickly once again on its following possession, but Bobcats defender Carmichael Wiley tipped a pass in the air which was caught by a teammate for an interception.
Following a Bobcats stalled drive which ended up as a turnover on downs, the Cards were unable to convert a fourth down and 10 as Carmichael Wiley clamped down on the ball for another interception.
Starting at their own 7 yard line, the Bobcats methodically marched down the field eating up the clock as it moved along. Orangefield moved into scoring position when Carmichael Wiley, who finished the night with 150 yards on 14 carries, scooted 22 yards to the Cardinals 11 yard line.
On third down and 9 from the Cardinals 10 yard line, Carmichael dropped back and drilled a bullet to Mason Sonnier in the end zone and a 21-14 lead with 1:37 left in the second quarter.
Bridge City turned the ball over on downs on its next possession and Orangefield attempted to take advantage of the opportunity but time ran out as Carl Wiley fought for 28 yards down to the Cardinals 7 yard as time expired.
After a hard fought first-half and several penalties, a large brawl broke out at the end of the play with benches clearing and coaches from both sides attempting to gain control. The fracas resulted in the ejection of Bridge City’s Chase Shugart and Orangefield’s Dylan Gray, although numerous players from each side involved.
With Shugart watching from the sidelines, the second half was a decidedly different game as Orangefield took control and never looked back.
The Bobcats took the opening possession of the second-half and chewed up the clock on its way to a 56 yard scoring drive which was capped off by a 12 yard scoring run by Carmichael Wiley.
Bridge City, now being led by quarterback Byron Trahan, started its first possession at its own 48 yard line. Trahan scooted around the right for a big 12 yard gain on the first play, but the drive came to a screeching halt following an interception by Orangefield’s Matthew Kress.
Orangefield cemented the victory on its next drive as Carl Wiley, who finished the night with 22 carries and 205 yards, broke the Bridge City defensive line and soared 70 yards for the score and a 35-14 lead and victory.
Bridge City 14,
BC 14 0 0 0 — 14
OF 14 7 14 0 — 35
BC: Jhett Simmons 4 run, Thomas Finley kick
OF: Carl Wiley 16 run, Matthew Rainey kick
BC: 30 pass to Blaine Slaughter from Chase Shugart, Finley kick
OF: 26 pass to Carl Wiley from Carmichael Wiley, Rainey kick
OF: 10 pass to Mason Sonnier from Carmichael Wiley, Rainey kick
OF: Carmichael Wiley 12 run, Rainey kick
OF: Carl Wiley 70 run, Rainey kick
First downs 16 21
Rushes-yards 24-123 56-448
Passing 141 36
Comp-Att-Int 12-30-4 2-4-0
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 3-0
Penalties-yards 5-45 8-58
Rushing: Bridge City, Chase Shugart, 7-44, Byron Trahan, 4-44, Jonah Lemoine, 8-27, Jhett Simmons, 3-7, Colt Poole, 1-2, Malcolm Busby, 1-(-1); Orangefield, Carl Wiley, 22-205, Carmichael Wiley, 14-150, Dylan Gray, 7-42, Colby Choate, 5-20, Craig Leverett, 1-10, Lane Frillou, 3-7, Triston McGee, 3-7, Landon Sparks, 1-7;
Passing: Bridge City, Chase Shugart 10-25-2 126, Byron Trahan, 2-5-2 15; Orangefield, Carmichael Wiley, 2-3-0 36, Mason Sonnier, 0-1-0 0;
Receiving: Bridge City, Blaine Slaughter, 4-73, Cade Moseley, 2-20, Keaton Langston, 2-18, Malcolm Busby, 2-15, Ryne Shugart, 2-15; Orangefield, Carl Wiley, 1-26, Mason Sonnier, 1-10;