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Bobcats aiming to stop Panthers

ORANGEFIELD – A win Friday night would be special for the Orangefield Bobcats.

A ‘W’ would put them into the postseason for the third straight season.

However, the Bobcats will be taking on a “hungry” Liberty Panthers squad at home in District 9-4A Division II play.

The Bobcats (4-4, 1-1) are coming off a tough 37-3 road loss at defending district champion and state-ranked West Orange-Stark last week. Orangefield pulled out a thrilling 24-23 win over Hardin-Jefferson to start 9-4A play a couple weeks ago.

The Panthers (3-4, 0-1) are entering the game after going through their bye week last week. Liberty fell to WO-S 49-0 in its 9-4A opener.

Liberty will check in with 9-4A’s last-ranked offense that is averaging 273 yards a game.

Quarterback Tino Briggs has completed 31-of-72 passes for 494 yards with six touchdowns and seven interceptions. He has also rushed for 299 yards and three TDs on 64 carries.

Panther tailback Alex Brown has rushed for 448 yards and six TDs on 92 carries while Carlton Godfrey has 172 yards and two TDs on 42 totes. Liberty also has solid receivers in Jarius Hill (12-214-4), Justin Arrington (10-158-1) and JJ Arrington (7-114-1).

The Liberty offense will face a Bobcat defense that has allowed 314.4 yards a game.

The Orangefield offense is averaging 288.8 yards a game to rank fourth in the district while Liberty’s defense ranks second, allowing just 236.3 yards a contest.

The Bobcats will look to pound away at the Panthers with their running attack.

Quarterback Matthew Watkins is closing in on the 1,000-yard mark. He has 905 yards and eight TDs on 133 carries. Back Christopher McGee has 512 yards and seven TDs on 902 carries and standout-out two-way player Austin Moore has 360 yards and three TDs on 56 totes.

The Bobcats went to Liberty last season and posted a 42-13 victory over the Panthers.

Orangefield will have its bye week next week before closing out the regular season with a trip to Hamshire-Fannett Nov. 6.