Bobcats return home for Wildcats in 12-3A action

Published 6:45 am Wednesday, October 3, 2018

ORANGEFIELD — After suffering their first loss of the season, the Orangefield Bobcats will also be preparing to get on with their season without the services of standout quarterback Mason Gonzales, who suffered a major knee injury in last week’s 30-14 District 12-3A Division I opening loss on the road at Buna.

The Bobcats (3-1, 0-1) will look to take out their frustrations at home Friday night when they welcome in the winless Kirbyville Wildcats (0-4, 0-1) in their second 12-3A Division I encounter. It will be Orangefield’s first home game since their opener as they played all three September games on the road.

Gonzales certainly had a nice early season for the Bobcats. He rushed for 215 yards and a team-leading six touchdowns on 53 carries and also passed for 69 yards. He had 76 yards and both the Bobcats’ touchdowns at Buna before suffering the major injury late in the fourth quarter.

The Bobcats will be looking for some more leaders to step up to the front as they try to push for a playoff berth in their new loop.

Orangefield piled up a lot of rushing yards in their first three big wins of the season but were stymied a bit by the Buna defense last week in getting just 187.

The Bobcats will check in against the Wildcats averaging 309.5 yards a game, 287.5 of it on the ground.

Heston Puckett leads the balanced rushing attack with 236 yards and two TDs on 25 carries. The Bobcats can also turn to fullback Blake Bradley and backs Kade Grozier, Quy Tsan and Chase Broussard while Gunner Jones will look to contribute now more at quarterback.

It has been a struggle in the early going for Kirbyville and first-year head coach Craig Jones as the Wildcats have been outscored 155-43 in their first four contests, including a tight 21-15 home loss to Anahuac in their district opener. The Wildcats have also fallen to 3A-ranked No. 1 Newton (71-0), Lumberton (42-14) and Corrigan-Camden (21-14).

Kirbyville is allowing 238.5 yards a game defensively and have improved dramatically since the opening loss to Newton.

The Wildcats certainly like to put the ball in the air, despite having 12-3A’s lowest ranked offense at 188.5 yards a game.

Quarterback Dylan Bishop has completed 38-of-92 passes for 592 yards with four TDs and four picks. His favorite targets have been the district’s leading receiver in Tylon Cooper (15-317-2) along with James Burchett (9-104-1) and Hunter Wallis (10-67-0).

Don’t be surprised to see Cooper get some carries out of the backfield along with the likes of Cam Smith and Hayden Sharp.

The Bobcat defense ranks second in the district in allowing just 130 yards a game but did allow Buna 254 last week.

There are still three unbeaten teams in District 12-3A in Woodville, Hardin and Buna.

Woodville (4-0, 1-0) toppled East Chambers (3-1, 0-1) 42-31 in a big showdown last week while Hardin (4-0, 1-0) blitzed Warren (0-4, 0-1) 56-14.

In other games this week, Buna (4-0, 1-0) will visit Anahuac (2-2, 1-0), Hardin is at East Chambers and Woodville visits Warren.

The Bobcats will visit East Chambers next week.