By Tommy Mann Jr.

The Record

 

The Orangefield Bobcats dominated both sides of the ball all night and shut out the visiting Buna Cougars, 45-0, to open the 2016 football season.

Orangefield (1-0) used a opportunistic defense throughout the night as the Bobcats recovered four Cougars fumbles, and then let the offense pick apart the Buna defense for quick scores on its way to the shut out victory.

It was definitely not Buna’s night as Trent Nugent fumbled the opening kickoff and gave the Bobcats offense the ball at the Cougars 34 yard line. Orangefield made Buna pay for that turnover quickly as tailback Wesley Frillou sprinted around the right end and scampered 32 yards for the first score of the night and 7-0 lead after the extra point by Jacob Rainey.

The Bobcats defense held Buna to a three-and-out on its next series and got the ball back at the Cougars 49 yard line. However, the Cougars defense stiffened and Orangefield faced a fourth down and 8 yards to go at the Buna 25-yard line. Coach Josh Smalley sent in kicker Jacob Rainey who nailed a 42 yard field goal with plenty of room to spare and put the Bobcats up 10-0 with 5:50 remaining in the first quarter.

The Orangefield defense once again answered the call and sent Buna’s offense back to the sideline following another three-and-out series in which the Cougars could only net 3 total yards.

A big punt return by Zach Dischler appeard to give the Bobcats excellent field position deep in Cougars territory, but a block in the back penalty, the only penalty of the night for Orangefield brought the ball back to the Buna 47 yard line.

It didn’t matter.

Orangefield quarterback Caleb Kress masterfully managed the Bobcats potent Slot-T offense and kept the Cougars defense off-balance most of the night. Facing a third and six from the Buna 30-yard line Kress handed the ball to fullback Christopher McGee (10 rushes, 69 yards), who powered through the defense for a 30 yard touchdown and a 17-0 lead.

Buna looked to be moving the ball for the first time on the night on its next series, but another Nugent fumble gave the Bobcats the ball again early in the second quarter following the recovery by linebacker Andrew Hoyland.

Starting deep inside Buna territory at the 29-yard line, Orangefield only needed a handful of plays to capitalize as McGee scored his second touchdown of the night on a seven yard scamper.

Buna (0-1) had its best drive of the first-half on its next series. Facing a third and 10 from its own 34 yard line, Cougars quarterback Alex Connell dropped back to pass and then took off on a 16-yard run before being brought down at mid-field. On the next play, running back Trace Crumpton, the Cougars leading runner on the night with four carries for 47 yards, zipped past the Orangefield defense for another 18 yards and a first-down at the Bobcats 32-yard line.

However, the Bobcats defense was on fire and stiffened to dropping the Cougars running backs for losses on the next two plays which was followed by a Connell incompletion.

On fourth and 15, Connell dropped back to pass but had to leave the pocket to evade the Orangefield pass rush and was swarmed by the Bobcats defense after gaining a mere two yards and turning the ball over on downs.

The teams exchanged punts on the next two series and Orangefield moved the ball nicely on its ensuing series, but a 44-yard field goal attempt by Rainey fell short and to the left to end the first-half.

Big plays were key for the Bobcats in the first-half of the game, but the offense seemed to settle down and find its rhythm in the second-half. Offensive Coordinator Dan Welch utilized a cadre of running backs and let his Slot-T offense do what it does best, which is chew up the clock, gain first downs and put more points on the board.

Orangefield added 14 more points in the third quarter courtesy of a 34 yard run by Kress and a 8-yard scamper by Christian Louvier, before a 1 yard quarterback sneak by Mason Gonzalez sealed the 45-0 victory late in the fourth quarter.

“This was a game of two-halves,” said Orangefield Coach Josh Smalley. “The first half was about turnovers. Our defense took advantage of their mistakes and our offense capitalized on those opportunities. In the second half, we did what we were supposed to do and that was move the ball and eat up the clock.”

While Smalley was pleased with the victory and the his team’s effort, he knows there is more work to be done.

“We have got to get better in a lot of areas. We’ve got a heck of an opponent in Kirbyville next week and they are bigger and faster, so we will have to be ready.

We’re not in very good shape and we saw that tonight with a lot of players having cramps,” he continued. “We’ve had a lot of indoor practices and it’s hard to get in condition indoors, but I’m proud of the way the team played and I’m proud of our coaches. When you only have one penalty and don’t turn the ball over, you will win a lot of games that way. Now we need to get ready and do it again next week.”

Orangefield will hit the road in week 2 as the Bobcats travel to Kirbyville to face the Wildcats at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 2. Kirbyville (0-1) lost its season opener 27-0 to Newton this past Friday. Buna will host the Hardin-Jefferson Hawks in its home opening game on Sept. 2.

 

 

Buna 0, Orangefield 45

 

BUNA –                        0    0    0   0    –     0

ORANGEFIELD –       17   7   14   7   –    45

 

SCORING

O – Wesley Frillou 32 run; Jacob Rainey kick 11:07

O – Rainey 42 FG 5:50

O –  Christopher McGee 30 run, Rainey kick 1:59

O – McGee 7 run, Rainey kick 10:40

O – Caleb Kress 34 run, Rainey kick 7:08

O – Christian Louvier 8 run, Rainey kick 2:59

O – Mason Gonzalez 1 run, Rainey kick 3:10

 

TEAM STATS

Buna          OF

First downs                     6               18

Rushes-yards           34-120        48-311

Passing                         11                4

Comp-Att-Int             3-5-0         1-5-0

Fumbles-Lost             4-4               1-0

Penalties-yards         6-35            1-10

 

 

INDIVIDUAL STATS

Rushing

Buna: Trace Crumpton, 4-47; Dawson Askew, 6-30; Alex Connell, 8-23; Justin Derouen, 7-12; Matthew Martin, 2-7; Trent Nugent, 3-1; Nathan Trevino, 1-1; Chandler Dickerson, 2-(-1); Orangefield: Christopher McGee, 10-69; Wesley Frillou, 7-66; Caleb Kress, 6-40; Christian Louvier, 4-33; Mason Gonzalez, 7-27; Kelly Tiller, 4-20; Dylan Williams, 3-19; Blake Bradley, 3-19; Hunter Evans, 4-18;

 

Passing

Buna: Alex Connell, 3-5-0, 11; Orangefield: Caleb Kress, 1-5-0, 4;

 

Receiving

Buna: Dawson Askew, 1-11; Matthew Martin, 1-0; Trent Nugent, 1-0; Orangefield: Andrew Hoyland, 1-4;