Kirbyville holds back Orangefield, 21-7
By Ronnie Hughes
KIRBYVILLE — The Orangefield Bobcats rolled into Kirbyville Wildcat Stadium with a chip on their shoulder Friday night after losing to the Wildcats last season 24-13 at home.
This season again would be another classic match-up between the two schools with the Bobcats coming up short once more, falling 21-7.
The Bobcat offense was unable to produce much offense against the speedy Wildcat secondary.
Last week the Bobcats shut out the Buna Cougars while Kirbyville was shut out by the Newton Eagles, leaving fans on both sides questioning what their teams would bring in week two.
Despite losing their star running back Ty Dennis in the first half, the Wildcats were still able to produce offense under direction of new quarterback Tadarius Jackson. He rushed for 75 yards while passing for 83 yards including a 64-yard touchdown to Joseph Fentrist.
The Bobcat defense looked primed for an upset early, intercepting Jackson on the first play of the game to take over the ball at the Wildcat 43. However, the Bobcat offense sputtered out the gate, unable to garner positive yards to go three-and-out and being forced to punt the ball back to the Wildcats.
Following a few back and forth possessions by each squad the Orangefield secondary got caught off guard with a 64-yard touchdown pass from Jackson to Fentrist with 5:17 remaining in the first quarter. Austin Reeves and the Kirbyville defense kept playing at a high level to keep the Bobcats scoreless in the first quarter as the Wildcats led 7-0. Reeves had two solo sacks on the night and four tackles for a loss.
The Bobcats finally put together a positive drive going 70 yards in 15 plays capped off by a Caleb Kress one yard touchdown dive to tie the game at seven points each with 9:42 left in the first half. Christopher McGee had a hand in two big third down conversions for the Bobcats on the drive.
Kirbyville took just a little over two minutes to regain control after marching 63 yards on eight plays. Dennis took the ball off the right side for a one-yard touchdown run to push the Wildcats ahead, 14-7. Dennis had eight carries for 32 yards before being sidelined for an undisclosed injury. The Bobcats fumbled on their final possession of the first half.
Both teams opened the second half plagued by penalties and turnovers. The Bobcats attempted to pull the game closer, but a bad hold led to a botched field goal.
The Wildcats had a miscue of their own in third with Cameron Ballard fumbling the ball while attempting to dive in for a touchdown. He lost the ball at the Bobcat 1, pinning the Bobcat offense in the shadows of the end zone. Unfortunately for the Bobcats they’d be forced to punt as they would again be unable to muster many yards.
The Wildcats ran just five plays before Ballard got redemption following his fumble on the previous drive. Hed took a handoff and bounced off the left side to skip down the sidelines for a 39-yard touchdown and a 21-7 Wildcat lead. putting the game just out of reach for the Bobcats with under four minutes to play.
The Bobcats brought in Mason Gonzales in hopes of sparking the offense. McGee gave the Bobcats a spark when he bolted up the middle for a 51- yard run down inside the Wildcat 20. Gonzales and the Bobcats took to the air in hopes of catching the Wildcats off guard, but were able to complete just one pass for four yards. The Wildcats intercepted the final pass attempt, before taking possession and running out the clock to hold on for the win.
McGee led all Bobcats with 80 yards on the night.
The Bobcats (1-1) will regroup as they will get ready to host a scrappy Woodville Eagles team next Friday. Kirbyville (1-1) will go on the road to Palestine to face Westwood in a non-district matchup.
Orangefield – 0 7 0 0 7
Kirbyville – 7 7 0 7 21
Kirbyville: 1st 5:19 #7 64 yd td catch from 12
Orangefield: 2nd 9:42Caleb Kress 1 yd td run
Kirbyville: 2nd 6:44 Ty Dennis 1 yd td run
Kirbyville: 4th rd 4:15 Cameron Ballard 39 yd td run
Orangefield 222 yards rushing; 9 yards receiving; 4 penalties 25 yards
Kress – 5 yds rushing 4 yds passing
McGee – 10-80 rushing
Frillou – 8-35 rushing
Herrington – 1-20 rushing
Hunter Evans – 7-30 rushing, 1 rec 4 yds
Gonzales 1-4 passing 5 yds 1int
Kirbyville: 249 rushing 83 passing 6 penalties 35 yards
Ty Dennis 8-32 rushing 1 td
Jackson – 71 rushing, 83 passing 1 td, 1 int, 4-8.
Joseph Fentrist – 4-30 rushing 3 rec 80 yards 1td
Ballard – 5-53 rushing 1td