Stingy Bobcats shut down Shepherd

Published 11:28 pm Friday, September 14, 2018

SPLENDORA — The Orangefield Bobcats had their mettle tested a little more Friday night after two blowout wins to start the season, but they passed the test with flying colors by downing the Shepherd Pirates 20-7 on the turf at Splendora High School as senior quarterback Mason Gonzales rushed for two scores.

The Bobcats (3-0) have now outscored their opponents 123-7 to start the campaign as they prepare to jump into a fresh new District 12-3A Division I in a couple weeks.

Orangefield’s defensive effort was superb once again versus a Shepherd offense that entered the game on a roll after hammering out big wins over Livingston (68-7) in their opener and Coldspring (35-6) last week.

The Bobcat defense set the tone early.

After Shepherd returned the opening kickoff all the way down to the Bobcat 13, the Bobcat defense rose up and held the Pirates at the Bobcat 4.

Shepherd, however, would counter with 4:51 left in the first quarter on a long 51-yard touchdown run for the first score on the Bobcat defense in their ninth quarter of the season.

The Bobcats engineered a nice drive to end the first quarter and Gonzales capped it off with a two-yard keeper. Derek Glaze booted the extra-point to tie the game at 7-7 with 0:32 left in the first quarter.

The Bobcats took a 14-7 edge into intermission after fullback Blake Bradley bruised his way into the end zone from two yards out with 8:47 in the half.

Orangefield came up with a big defensive play as Shepherd was driving near the end of the half. However, the Pirates were thwarted when Bobcat defensive back Clayson Choate, who has made some big plays already this season, picked off a pass in the end zone.

Gonzales gave the Bobcats some more breathing room when he kept it into the end zone from four yards out to make it 20-7 with 3:01 in the third.

The Bobcats will have a bye next week before opening a seven-game stretch in District 12-3A Division I against long-time rival Buna Sept. 28. The Pirates will return to Splendora against next week when they take on the Splendora Wildcats.