Cougars topple Bobcats in 12-3A opener, 30-14

Published 11:22 pm Friday, September 28, 2018

By Caleb Adams

Leader Correspondent


BUNA – The Buna Cougars downed the Orangefield Bobcats in stunning fashion 30-14 to get their District 12-3A Division I season off on the right foot.

With a packed crowd on both sides the game was close and hard fought till the end.

The Cougars (4-0, 1-0) remain undefeated on the season while the Bobcats (3-1, 0-1) absorbed their first loss of the campaign in their first district game since dropping down to the Class 3A ranks.

Buna’s defense was stout and wore down the Bobcats offense and made it very tough for them to get a continuous drive and to score multiple times.

Orangefield’s defense created multiple turnovers in the red zone to make the game way more close and intense, but the Bobcats’ offense wasn’t able to take advantage of the turnovers they created.

Alex Connell, Buna’s veteran quarterback, would take over and power the Cougar offense, accounting for almost the same amount of yards as the rest of his team. From crazy scrambles to designed sweeps, Connell was able to use his quickness to elude the defenders long enough to make something happen.

The Cougars jumped on the board early thanks to a 40-yard touchdown from Kamewron Richardson. After 7 plays Richardson found a hole in the defense and broke through the secondary for points. Alex Connell would lob the two-point conversion in to make it 8-0 Buna with 7:32 in the first left.

Orangefield responded with a touchdown of their own on their first possession. Similar to the Cougars, the Bobcats ran on all but two plays on the 14-play drive. With 58 on the ground that drive, it was only appropriate that a QB sneak is what Mason Gonzalez punched it in on a one-yard keeper. After the PAT went in the Bobcats were down just one, 8-7, with 1:44 left in the first quarter.

Buna countered with another punch in just three plays. Connell took over and accounted for all the yards on the drive, finding various holes to abuse in the defense. Connel finished it with a 30-yard touchdown keeper, but after the two point conversion didn’t go in the Cougars held a seven-point lead at 14-7 with 1:03 left in the first quarter.

Buna and Orangefield would both trade fumbles and punts during the second quarter but neither could punch it in, even from the red zone. The Cougars went into the half feeling good with a touchdown lead and receiving the kickoff to start the second half.

However, Orangefield was able tie the game with just seconds left in the third quarter. After another long drive on the ground, Gonzalez sneaked another touchdown in from a yard out behind the center to even things up with 0:20 left in the third quarter. The Bobcats’ ability to mix up backs and have different looks opened up the defense to some tough runs up the middle.

The Cougars score a key touchdown thanks to Connell, who up to that point had 86 rushing yards after he scored on a two-yard keeper, putting the Cougars up eight after the two- point conversion went through with 6:22 remaining.

On the very next play Rylie Wolf picked off Gonzalez from 32 yards out and scores to bolster the Cougars lead with 6:09 left.

The Cougars finished with 254 total yards, 204 on the ground. The Bobcats had 183 yards, 187 on the ground.

Connell finished with 84 yards on 11 carries. Richardson had 77 yards on six totes.

Gonzales had 76 yards and the two Bobcat TDs on 16 carries. Kade Grozier had 30 yards on the ground for the Bobcats.

The Buna game ended a three-game road swing for the Bobcats, who will return home for 12-3A Division I action next week to take on the Kirbyville Wildcats. Buna will visit Anahuac.