Bobcats host Hardin in vital tilt

Published 6:34 am Wednesday, October 17, 2018

ORANGEFIELD — After absorbing a tough road loss in Winnie last Friday to the East Chambers Buccaneers, the Orangefield Bobcats face a big game at home Friday when they welcome in the Hardin Hornets in a crucial game for the Bobcats as they chase a playoff berth in District 12-3A Division I play.

The Bobcats (4-2, 1-2) struggled to get the offense going last week as they fell to a stout East Chambers (5-1, 2-1) unit 41-0.

Meanwhile, the Hornets (5-1, 2-1) rebounded nicely from a huge loss to East Chambers by defeating Kirbyville 42-28.

The Hornets fell to East Chambers 57-7 the week before. The Bobcats also defeated Kirbyville 31-20 in their second game of district play.

The Hornets have responded well for long-time veteran coach Larry Haynes. They were 4-6 last year but went 0-5 in district play but have already passed last year’s win total with four games left.

Hardin will check into the game with 12-3A’s leading offense as the Hornets are averaging 477.8 yards a game, 291.8 on the ground and 186 in the air.

The Hornets sport the district’s leading rusher as well in the form of Darius White. White has tore through opposing defenses for 1,324 yards and 15 touchdowns on just 110 carries.

Coach Haynes has never been afraid to throw the ball, dating back to his years as the Lumberton head coach.

Quarterbacks Marc Chavira, Austin Potetz and Matthew Tidwell have teamed up to complete 70-of-111 passes for 1,116 yards to go along with 10 TDs and four interceptions.

Tyler Parker leads the Hornets with 19 catches for 330 yards and three TDs. Davin Morgan (14-255-2), Trenton Dickey (12-124-0) are also solid options.

The Bobcat defense ranks fourth in 12-3A in allowing 210.3 yards a game. They will look to bounce back this week after allowing the Bucs 454 yards last week, including 333 on the ground.

The Orangefield offense is averaging 277.3 yards a game but only managed 99 in the tough loss in Winnie as EC held the Bobcats to just 82 yards rushing.

Gunner Jones will be getting his third start at quarterback after starter Mason Gonzales went down with a season-ending knee injury in the fourth game late against Buna.

Fullback Blake Bradley paces the Bobcat ground game with 284 yards and five TDs on 53 carries. Heston Puckett has 281 yards and two TDs on 36 totes. Kadeon Evans and Quy Tsan also figure heavily in the ground arsenal.

The Hornets have been sound on defense, allowing 239.2 yards a game, 128 in the air and 111.2 on the ground.

The Woodville Eagles (6-0, 3-0) remain in the driver’s seat in the 12-3A race while East Chambers, Buna, Hardin and Anahuac are all tied for second with 2-1 marks. The Bobcats are in sixth while Kirbyville and Warren are both seeking their first wins of the season and are both 0-3 in district play.

In other 12-3A action Friday, Woodville goes to Anahuac, Warren is at Buna and East Chambers visits Kirbyville.

The Bobcats will visit Woodville next week while the Hornets host Anahuac.