Larry Johnson

After last week’s performance against the Silsbee Tigers, despite the 38-34 loss, the Orangefield Bobcats (4-2) proved that they can stay on the field against any opponent in Dist. 21-3A. It will be that way again Friday night when the ‘Cats take on the state ranked West Orange-Stark Mustangs (3-2) at Dan R. Hooks Stadium.

It’s homecoming for the ‘Stangs and if their minds aren’t on football the Bobcats are certainly capable of pulling off a win- what the headlines would call an ‘upset” later.

The Bobcats have been ‘the underdog’ before and against WO-S that phrase seems to be most fitting. Whatever the case, you can bet that Orangefield is going to show up to play football and with that said, they can win this game.

The Bobcats were just about all the defending district champion Silsbee Tigers could handle and still get out of F.L. McClain Stadium with a win last week.

Orangefield didn’t have any trouble moving the ball. Quarterback Quinton Evans clocked in another 100-plus yards while fullback Evan Guidry hit pay dirt with five touchdowns on 15 carries and a 100 yard night of his own. Ty Johnson rambled for 148 yards on just nine carries.

The Bobcats had a tougher time defending against the passing of Silsbee quarterback Kelson McDaniel and key receivers Prentice Lane, Garrett Drake and Darrian Turk. The combination accounted for 281 yards and four touchdowns. Orangefield will see something similar against the Mustangs.

Sophomore quarterback Jimmy Salter has led the WOS offense well. He stepped in to fill the big shoes of Reggie Garrett Jr. against No. 6  ranked Kirbyville to prove himself, and he did. Kirbyville won 28-14, but after last week’s 63-0 romp against Hamshire-Fannett it is eveident that Salter and receivers Derek Ledet and running back  Britton Lindsey have got the ‘timing’ down to an effective combination. Salter passed for 155 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for another 89 yards against HF. Darious Robinson led WOS in rushing with 127 yards on 19 carries that included three touchdowns.

But if the Bobcat defense can hang with ‘em- and they can- Evans and the offensive crew are sure to put points on the board. The Cat’s broke the 2,000 yard rushing mark (2006) against Silsbee. Evans rushed for 138 yards last week and has picked up 937 total yards this season. He has scored nine touchdowns- five of them he got in one night against the Jasper Bulldogs.

Then, runningback Evan Guidry gets five straight TDs the next week in an encore performance. Guidry leads the team in touchdowns with 12 and 384 total yards rushing. Ty Johnson figures into the mix averaging 15 yards a carry for 230 yards. Finding a weak link in the ‘Chain Gang’ defense isn’t going to be easy– it’s going to be necessary.

Defensively, Bobcat linebacker Josh Shores and defensive back Eric Truncale continue to battle for the top spot on the tackle chart. Shores has  52 and Truncale 46. Rylan Cook has 30 tackles on the board and Johnson 23. Defensive linemen Jake Best has 17 tackles and Sterling  Deslatte another 14. A few big plays by the Bobcat defense could change the game against WOS. The ‘Cats are big on collecting turn overs with six fumble recoveries and four interceptions.

Last week’s contest with the Silsbee Tigers was a good teacher for the Bobcats. The lessons will become important in this Friday night’s game against the Mustangs. There is definately going to be some races run in Hooks Stadium. It has the makings of a great football game. Maybe even an “upset” in the headlines.