Bobcats motor past Wildcats, 31-20

Published 11:32 pm Friday, October 5, 2018

ORANGEFIELD — There is no place like home.

That was the case for the Orangefield Bobcats Friday night after being away from their home field since the last Friday in August.

The Bobcats were able to nab their first 12-3A Division I victory of the season in front of a packed home crowd as they downed the Kirbyville Wildcats 31-20.

Orangefield (4-1, 1-1) piled up 323 yards of total offense, 277 of it coming on the ground on 51 carries.

Senior fullback Blake Bradley led the way with 128 yards on 23 carries. Kadeon Evans had 66 yards on nine carries and Gunner Jones, getting his first start of the season after senior Mason Gonzales was lost for the season after a knee injury, played really well, rushing for a score and passing for another.

Kirbyville (0-5, 0-2) quarterback Dylan Bishop completed 13-of-31 passes for 189 yards as the Wildcats finished with 285 yards. Receiver Tylon Cooper had six receptions for 65 yards and fellow receiver James Burchett had four grabs for 63 yards. Wildcat back Cam Smith rushed for 68 yards on 11 totes.

Orangefield took a 14-0 advantage into the locker room at the half as they converted a pair of big plays on offense and the Bobcats made key stops on defense.

The Bobcats upped their margin with a stout 10-play, 75-yard drive to start the second half.

Bradley, who carried six times for 29 yards on the march, capped it off with a one-yard scamper off right tackle to make it 20-0 with 7:19 in the third.

Jones had a big 16-yard pass play to Evans that got the Bobcats into Wildcat territory. Back Quy Tsan had a nice 11-yard run plus he was grabbed by the facemask as Orangefield found themselves at the Wildcat 20. Bradley eventually rumbled for a 13-yard gain to the 5 and scored three plays later.

The Wildcats countered with a five-play, 56-yard touchdown march. Smith got loose for a 37-yard scamper to the Bobcat 19 and Bishop, on fourth-and-3 from the 12, kept it up the middle for a 12-yard score to trim it to 20-7 with 5:40 in the third.

Kirbyville wasn’t through as they zipped 70 yards in 10 plays on their next series to pull to within 20-14.

Bishop teamed up with Cooper on a 40-yard strike down the right sideline to get to the Bobcat 30 then he hit James Burchett for a 18-yard gain to the 12.

The Wildcats scored on fourth-and-3 when Bishop found Cooper in the left side of the back of the end zone for a five-yard scoring toss with 11:48 remaining.

The Bobcats then were able to move 69 yards in 11 plays, settling for a Derek Glaze 23-yard field goal with 5:15 remaining to go up 23-14.

Back Heston Puckett had five big carries for 37 yards on the series.

On the ensuing kickoff, a trick play by the Wildcats failed miserably as a lateral pass backwards was errant and Bobcat Jacob Harvey pounced on the loose leather at the Wildcat 7. Three plays later Jones bolted into the end zone from a yard out and competed the two-point conversion pass to Kade Grozier to make it 31-14 with 3:20 left.

Kirbyville put together a eight-play, 55-yard drive late capped off by a Burchett 12-yard touchdown reception from Bishop with 2:25 left.

The Bobcats cashed in on a Wildcat turnover late in the first quarter to go up 7-0.

Orangefield defensive back Chase Broussard stepped in front of a Bishop pass at the Wildcat 40 and zipped 33 yards all the way down to the 7 with 3:44 in the quarter.

On the very next play, Bobcat fullback Blake Bradley bulldozed his way up the middle for a seven-yard touchdown. Kicker Derek Glaze nailed the extra-point as the Bobcats led 7-0 with 3:36 in the quarter.

Kirbyville ran 22 plays to the Bobcats’ five in the first quarter but found themselves trailing 7-0 at the end of the quarter after they saw a 11-play, 52-yard drive nixed by the Orangefield defense.

Bishop connected with receiver Hunter Wallis, who made a great diving catch down the left sideline for a 35-yard completion to the Bobcat 12.

The Bobcat secondary stiffened up however, forcing four straight incompletions, including a fake field-goal passing attempt on fourth down.

Kirbyville wasted a big opportunity early in the second quarter after its defense stuffed the Bobcats on a fourth-and-1 play from the Orangefield 35 with 9:38 in the half.

Orangefield defensive end Lane Rach, who had a superb game, blew up the Wildcats’ chances early when he sacked Bishop for a eight-yard loss on first down and the Wildcats eventually had to punt the ball away.

The Bobcats then put together a strong 10-play, 84-yard scoring march. Bradley broke off runs of 12 and six yards and Evans gutted the Wildcats for a 30-yard jaunt up the middle to the Kirbyville 36.

Orangefield benefitted from a defensive holding penalty on the Wildcats on fourth-and-6 from the 32.

The Bobcats received a tough holding call and faced a fourth-and-11 from the 27. The Bobcats elected to go for it and did it ever pay off. Jones dropped backed and facing an onslaught from two Wildcat defenders, unleashed a new perfect pass to tailback Kade Grozier in the end zone for a 27-yard scoring strike, making it a 14-0 game with 3:13 in the half.

The Bobcats had 154 total yards in the half. Evans carried four times for 54 yards while Bradley had eight rushes for 44 yards.

The Wildcats had 102 yards as Bishop completed 6-of-15 passes for 77 yards. Smith toted the ball eight times for 30 yards.

The Bobcats will visit East Chambers (4-1, 1-1) next week. The Bucs defeated Hardin 57-7 on Thursday night. Meanwhile, the Wildcats will visit Hardin (4-1, 1-1).