Bobcats face explosive Bucs

Published 6:20 am Wednesday, October 10, 2018

ORANGEFIELD — After pounding out a 31-20 home win over the winless Kirbyville Wildcats to capture their first 12-3A Division I victory, the Orangefield Bobcats now turn their attention to a very talented East Chambers Buccaneers squad on the road in Winnie Friday night.

Both teams rebounded nicely after suffering district-opening losses as the Bobcats (4-1, 1-1) bounced back after a 30-14 loss at Buna and the Bucs (4-1, 1-1) responded by hammering Hardin 57-7 after EC fell to district favorite Woodville 42-31.

There is no question that the Bucs have been explosive, outscoring their opponents 220-86 for the season. EC returned 15 starters from last year’s 7-4 playoff unit, including 10 offensive starters.

The Bucs, like Orangefield, features a stout running arsenal. Back Ernest Ceasar has darted for 501 yards and eight touchdowns on just 46 carries. Fellow back Noltin Shelvin has picked up 327 yards and seven TDs on 35 totes.

EC quarterback Kameron Smith has shown plenty of versatility. He has completed 25-of-52 passes for 492 yards with eight TD tosses and four picks and has also rushed for 210 yards and three TDs on 34 carries. He certainly has a feature deep threat to get the ball to in receiver Kordell David. David, a superb basketball player as well, has 13 catches to his credit for 328 yards and six TDs.

The Bucs will face a Bobcat defense that ranks No. 2 in 12-3A in allowing just 161 yards a game, Orangefield allowed 285 yards against Kirbyville last week, 189 through the air.

The Bobcats churned out 323 total yards against the Wildcats last week, 277 on the ground as sophomore Gunner Jones got his first start at quarterback after senior standout Mason Gonzales is out for the rest of the season after a tough knee injury. Jones certainly held his own against Kirbyville as he scored on a touchdown run and hit back Kade Grozier on a 27-yard scoring toss.

The Bobcats received huge efforts on both sides of the ball against Kirbyville. Fullback-linebacker Blake Bradley had 128 yards on 23 hard-nosed carries. He now has 253 yards and five TDs for the season. Kadeon Evans had 66 yards on nine carries and Heston Puckett, the Bobcats’ leading rusher in a balanced run game with 285 yards on the season, had nine carries for 49 yards.

The Bobcats are averaging 312.2 yards a game, 285.4 on the ground. The Bucs are allowing 234.6 yards a game, 205.8 of it on the ground.

The Bobcats will return home next week to face Hardin (4-1, 1-1) while East Chambers heads to Kirbyville (0-5, 0-2).

In other 12-3A action Friday a battle of unbeaten will take place in Woodville as the Eagles welcome in Buna (5-0, 2-0); Hardin will host Kirbyville; and Warren (0-5, 0-2) will host Anahuac (2-3, 1-1).