The Orangefield Bobcats played another strong game last week for a second win to the start the season. The Bobcats beat Woodville on the road 21-7.
Coach Josh Smalley indicated it was a battle for Orangefield to defeat the Eagles. It was a very physical football game that Smalley compared to 12 rounds with Mike Tyson. The Bobcats were fortunate to come out of the contest with no serious injuries.
Defensively Orangefield played really well making just one busted coverage resulting in a long touchdown pass for Woodville while creating three turnovers. The Bobcats offensive played keep away from the Eagles executing around 65 plays from scrimmage with no giveaways compared to just about 32 plays for Woodville. Smalley commented, “Those are all keys to try to win a football game, and we were successful in those areas.”
The opposition this week will be Livingston which lines up in multiple offensive sets including one tight end, three wide receivers, or the I-Formation. No matter what the formation is the Lions will rely on their outstanding quarterback to lead them.
Senior Damian Ruiz can run and throw the football, a true dual threat. Livingston will run draws and quarterback counters with Ruiz. Of course, Ruiz is also dangerous if he is forced to scramble when attempting to pass.
His favorite receiver is tight end Willie Fagan who went 80 yards for a score earlier this season. Jontavian McNeal, Julian Gardner, and Javean Gardner are weapons as wide receivers for the Lions. Lynn Johnson is the primary running back.
In their first two games the Lions have scored 60 points. “We’ve got to do a good job of containing number three, not let him outside the pocket, and try to make him stay in to throw from the pocket, and contain him on the run,” Smalley analyzed.
The Lions are expected to load the box from their four-man front in an effort to stop the Bobcats’ running game. They will play mostly man-to-man coverage in the secondary.
Coach Smalley described what Orangefield will face to move the ball against Livingston. The middle is very solid with two big youngsters Cameron Wright and Zaylon Bogany at the tackles backed by middle linebacker Landon Leggett anchoring the Lions’ defense. The defensive secondary is composed of the same skilled players from the Livingston offense.
The Lions are very aggressive on defense and will come downhill to fill holes and hit opposing ball carriers with authority. Smalley added, “They’re very well coached and will be a big challenge for us offensively.”
Livingston is Division 1, one level above Orangefield, and the Lions were district champs last year with many of their starters returning. The Lions will be the toughest test for the Bobcats thus far this season.
Smalley evaluated what Orangefield must to do to go 3-0. The Bobcats’ secondary must not allow any busted coverage because the Lions will throw the ball and they will throw it deep. All the Bobcat defensive backs must know their assignments on every play.
The tight end Fagan must be watched and jammed at the line of scrimmage to keep him from running free downfield where he is dangerous. Topping the list for the Orangefield defense is containing the quarterback Ruiz. Smalley wants to make Ruiz try to beat the Bobcats throwing the ball not running it.
Just like every week the keys on offense for the Bobcats are not turning the ball over and avoiding penalties that causes them to go backwards. “We’ve just got to do what we do, I do feel like we’ll have to throw the ball a little bit this week to try to move it on them. Those are some of the things we’ve got to do to try to win on Friday night,” Smalley concluded.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-