The Orange Leader
After two major impressive wins to start the season, the Orangefield Bobcats will try to pick up their biggest one yet when they visit Class 2A state-ranked No. 1 Newton Friday night at Singletary Stadium.
The Bobcats (2-0) are coming off a tremendous 30-22 victory over the Jasper Bulldogs while the Eagles (2-0) turned back Liberty after trailing 10-0 at the half in a game that started an hour late due to lightning.
Orangefield ball-controlled Jasper into submission last week, running 62 running plays for 362 yards led by senior tailback Carl Wiley.
Wiley rushed for 225 yards on 36 tough carries against Jasper with a TD. He now has 362 yards and two TDs on 60 carries.
Carmichael Wiley has 100 yards and two TDs on the ground while Colby Choate has rushed for 116 yards for a Bobcat offense that is grinding out 383.5 yards per outing.
In the big win over Jasper, defensive back Matthew Watkins had two critical fumble recoveries.
After defeating Bridge City 44-20, the Eagles (2-0) tried to get their footing against Liberty and it came in the second half when they put up 28 points.
Newton Coach W.T. Johnson has 15 starters back off a squad that went 13-1 and advanced to the state semifinals.
Two 1,000-yard backs return in the forms of Kevin Shorter, who had 1,810 yards and 31 touchdowns and Brandon Johnson, who had 1,250 yards and 17 TDs.
On defense, the Eagles return all-district picks linebackers Anthony Hadnot and Chedrick Hanks.
The Bobcat defense is allowing just 231.1 yards a game after allowing 348 to Jasper, including 200 yards passing. Newton quarterback Roney Elam threw for 203 yards in the win against Bridge City.
Newton toppled the Bobcats 40-14 last season behind 385 yards on the ground, led by Shorter’s 177. The Bobcats had 260 yards rushing in the loss, 134 of it coming from QB Eric Truncale.
The Bobcats will return to action next week when they head to Beaumont to face the Beaumont Kelly Bulldogs. The Eagles will have their bye week next week before opening up District 10-2A Division I play at home against Warren Sept. 27.