With less than two minutes on the clock and one last chance for victory, the Orangefield Bobcats came up short on homecoming.
The Bobcats lost 28-23 to the East Chambers Buccaneers on Friday night at F.L. McClain Stadium in Orangefield in a district matchup of two contenders for the district title.
Orangefield struck first on a drive which covered 46 yards and took nearly eight minutes off the game clock as Gunner Jones converted a 22-yard field goal to give the Bobcats an early 3-0 lead.
The Buccaneers only needed 59 seconds and two plays to take the lead as running back Nolton Shelvin took a handoff to the right and dashed 64 yards for the touchdown and a 7-3 East Chambers lead.
Orangefield would respond with another time consuming drive as quarterback Jones marched the offense to the end zone courtesy of a Hunter Ashworth 2-yard run up the middle. The two point conversion failed, but the Bobcats regained the lead at 9-7.
The teams traded possessions before the Buccaneers started another march to the end zone at midfield. Quarterback Jacoby Perrault used his arm and his feet to keep the Bobcats defense at bay, but it was the speed of running backs Shelvin and Ernest Ceasar kept the drive alive. The Bucs regained the lead at 14-9 at the half as Sholvin added a 7-yard touchdown.
The third quarter belonged to East Chambers as the offense used its speed to keep the Bobcats defense on its heels. While using only two minutes and 30 seconds of the clock on the opening drive, Ceasar zipped through the heart of the defense for a 16-yard touchdown run to extend the Buccaneers lead.
East Chambers held the Bobcats to a three-and-out on its next possession and, following a very short punt, took over at the Bobcats 40-yard line. This time the Buccaneers only needed 76-seconds to score as Perrault rolled left and connected with Mason Schepf for a 12-yard touchdown and a 28-9 lead for the visiting Bucs.
Orangefield reasserted itself on the ensuing possession as the offense marched the ball 60 yards in less than five minutes. With first and goal at the 11-yard line, following a penalty, Chase Broussard roared through the middle of the East Chambers defense for touchdown to cut the lead to 28-16.
Broussard would add another touchdown, this time from 8-yards out, on the Bobcats next possession and now trailed 28-23.
However, with 6:21 remaining in the game, East Chambers began a slow, methodical march down the field as its offense chewed up both yards and the clock.
Facing fourth and three at the Orangefield 29-yard line, the Buccaneers turned the ball over downs to give the Bobcats one last shot at glory and the victory. However, facing fourth and 9 at the 29, a Jones pass fell incomplete and so did the Bobcats bid for a homecoming victory.
Orangefield (5-1, 2-1) will hit the road next Friday to face the Hardin Hornets (3-3, 1-2), while East Chambers (5-1, 3-0) returns home to host the Kirbyville Wildcats (1-5, 1-2).
-Tommy Mann, KOGT-
EAST CHAMBERS 28
EC 7 7 14 0 28
OF 3 6 0 14 23
OF – Gunner Jones 22 yard field goal (4:14)
EC – Nolton Shelvin 64 yard run, Jose Chavez kick (3:15)
OF – Hunter Ashworth 2 yard run, run failed (9:12)
EC – Shelvin 7 yard run, Chavez kick (1:48)
EC – Ernest Ceasar 16 yard run, Chavez kick (9:30)
EC – Mason Schepf 12 yard pass from Jacoby Perrault, Chavez kick (6:52)
OF – Chase Broussard 11 yard run, Jones kick (1:51)
OF – Broussard 8 yard run, Jones kick (6:21)
First Downs 15 20
Rushes-Yards 38-233 56-254
Passing 74 10
Total Yards 307 264
Com-Att-Int 5-12-0 2-7-0
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 2-1
Penalties-Yards 8-85 8-45
Rushing – EC: Ernest Ceasar 19-93, Nolton Shelvin 8-90, Alejandro Lopez 3-36, Jacoby Perrault 5-14, Cooper McKay 1-2, Mason Schepf 1-0, Easton Revia 1-(-2); OF: Chase Broussard 17-74, Heston Puckett 15-62, Hunter Ashworth 8-55, Gunner Jones 4-23, Kadeon Evans 4-17, Clayson Choate 6-14, Kent Michael 2-9;
Passing – EC: Jacoby Perrault 5-12-0 74; OF: Gunner Jones 2-7-0 10;
Receiving – EC: Nolton Shelvin 1-32, Ernest Ceasar 1-14, Mason Schepf 1-12, Alejandro Lopez 1-12, Trent Guidry 1-4; OF: Chase Broussard 1-6, Hunter Ashworth 1-4;