Second half surge gives Bobcats win over Newton
Published 11:48 pm Friday, September 25, 2015
By Ronnie Hughes / The Orange Leader———
NEWTON — A stellar performance by the Newton Eagles in the first half would be overshadowed by an Orangefield Bobcats’ offensive showcase.
The Bobcats defense stiffened up in the second half as well as the Bobcats went on to down the Eagles for the second straight season, this time winning on the road 24-21.
The Bobcats (3-2) churned out 315 yards of total offense.
Newton (1-3) rang up 361 yards, most of it coming in the first 24 minutes.
The Bobcats also cleaned up some of the errors that seemed to haunt them the past few weeks with just one turnover and just 2 penalties for 25 yards.
“I told them coming into the game if we don’t turn the ball over we have the chance to be a good team,” said Bobcats head coach Josh Smalley. “We’re definitely going to enjoy this moment, but it’s gonna be right back to work to prepare for next week.”
Newton received the opening kick at their 33 that ignited a left-to-right offensive attack in which they averaged eight yards a carry. Jaron Hanks scored on the seventh play of the drive off the right side with an eight-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion was no good and Newton led, 6-0 early with 8:58 remaining.
The Bobcats, however, would go right to work as well. They’d march 66 yards in nine plays to take a 7-6 lead with a Christopher McGee eight-yard touchdown run. Quarterback Matthew Watkins chipped in a 28-yard run on the drive to keep the Bobcat offense moving forward. Watkins shackled the Eagles with 164 yards rushing and one touchdown in the win.
The Eagles were eager to get the ball moving again. Gabe Foster notched a 14-yard touchdown run to cap a 69-yard drive. Newton quarterback Brock Barbay found Foster in the endzone to secure the two-point conversion and the lead, 14-7, with just 2 clicks left on the clock in the first quarter.
Foster had an incredible night with 160 yards rushing, 97 yards receiving and two touchdowns in the losing effort.
Orangefield started the next drive with great field position at their 40. Just three plays and a little over a minute into the second quarter Watkins threw an interception right into the hands of Jaron Hanks to give Newton the ball at the Eagle 18..
The Bobcat defense held tight and forced an Eagles’ fumble. The Bobcats took the ball 48 yards in just six plays with Watkins capping the drive with a two-yard touchdown to tie the game at 14.
The Eagles went 60 yards on the next drive with Barbay throwing a screen pass to Foster to recapture the lead, 21-14.
A Matthew Rainey 29-yard field-goal with seven seconds left in half to inch the Bobcats closer, down just 21-17, heading into the half.
Orangefield received the second half kickoff and quickly was forced to punt after a fast start. Watkins led off with a 28-yard run, but went the opposite direction on the next three plays.
Newton’s offense struggled to get going as well. They’d lose their second fumble of the game with just minutes left in the third and Barbay, who went 4-for-5 passing in the first half, started cold in the second half not completing a pass until the fourth quarter.
After opening the fourth quarter with their third consecutive punt the Bobcats finally put together a positive drive after stopping the Eagles.
Watkins drove the Bobcats 63 yards with runs of 27 and 25 yards. Christopher McGee tallied his second touchdown with a five-yard dive into the end-zone for their first lead and ultimately the winning score, 24-21. McGee rushed for 102 yards on the night.
It was a total team effort with the Bobcats defense pitching a shutout in the second half and the offense finding the right plays at the right time to down the Eagles.
Orangefield will host Houston-Worthing next week for homecoming. The Eagles will travel to West Orange-Stark as the Mustangs seek revenge after losing to Newton last season.
Orangefield 24 Newton 21
First downs 13 14
Rushes-yards 43 -316 42-260
Passing 0 108
Comp-Att-Int 0-3-1 9-17-108
Fumbles-Lost 0 2-2
Penalties-yards 2-25 5-55
Individual Statistics Orangefield
Rushing: Orangefield: Matthew Watkins – 17-164-, Christopher McGee 16-102-, Hunter Evans 6-34, Austin Moore 3-20.
Newton: Jaron Hanks 17-70, Gabe Foster 19-160, Brock Barbay 4-24, Broderick Spikes 2-6
Passing: Orangefield-Watkins 0-3-1– Newton Brock Barbay 9-17-0 108
Receiving: Newton Gabe Foster 7-94-1td, Kirkland Foster 2-15.