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By Dan Perrine
For The Record 

Eagles edge Orangefield


Last updated 9/18/2023 at 10:47am

Caleb Fregia completed a 26-yard pass for the Bobcats' longest play of the night and he intercepted a Woodville two-point conversion attempted pass

Football coaches emphasize how pivotal turnovers are in determining the winner of a game. Friday night in Orangefield proved that philosophy true when the Woodville Eagles made three take aways while surrendering a lone turnover themselves as they defeated the Orangefield Bobcats 19-7 at F. L. McClain Stadium.

The two teams came into the game with identical records. With the loss Orangefield finished 1-3 in non-district. Woodville evened its record to 2-2 for the season.

The Eagles came into the game averaging 42 points in their first three games. It took them ten plays to go 67 yards on their opening drive to score against Orangefield.

Woodville made the most of the talents from quarterback Ralon Williams who ran the ball three times for 12 yards and passed it four times completing three for 41 yards. The third completion was to Ty'Marion Walker for a 33-yard touchdown. Williams attempted to pass for two points but was intercepted by the Bobcats' Caleb Fregia to keep the score 6-0 with 7:34 left in the first quarter.

The Bobcats moved the ball on the ground for a first down at their 43. The first turnover of the game followed with Tyjuan Miller intercepting an Orangefield pass to give Woodville possession at its 46.

Zayon Williams ran the ball three times for the Eagles good for two first downs and taking the ball to the Bobcat 19. On third down Rayon Williams ran off left tackle and fumbled with Kaleb Menard recovering the loose ball at the nine for the Bobcats' only take away of the game.

Orangefield gained two first downs on its possession to gain some breathing room before Fregia punted the ball back to Woodville. The Eagles were held by the Bobcat defense to minus yardage and punted giving Orangefield good field position at its own 47 yard line.

It was Orangefield's turn to run the ball and the clock. The Bobcats used 11 running plays to gain five first downs and move the ball 53 yards using over six minutes on the clock.

Mason Manning, Kane Smith, and Fernando Sandoval-Rodriguez each had at least two carries gaining important yards on the drive. Smith got the touchdown on a three-yard run with superb second effort. Ty Butler kicked the point after to put the Bobcats in the lead 7-6 with only 1:33 left in the second quarter.

The Eagles picked up a first down on two runs taking the ball to their 49. Ralon Williams then threw the ball into double coverage for what looked like a sure Orangefield interception. Somehow neither Bobcat could even knock the ball away as Walker made the catch behind them and then sprinted to the end zone for a 51-yard touchdown with just 35 seconds left in the half. The pass attempt for two was incomplete but Woodville had retaken the lead 12-7 as the teams went to the locker rooms.

The second half began much like how the first half ended with the Bobcats driving the ball. Quarterback Carson Gonzales completed a pass to Manning for ten yards and a first down at the Orangefield 44.

Manning and Sandoval-Rodriguez gained 19 yards on four carries before Smith got the third first down of the drive to the Woodville 31. A procedure penalty cost the Bobcats five yards, but Sandoval-Rodriguez got it back plus two more yards on a seven-yard run to the 29 of the Eagles.

Then it was time for a dreaded turnover. The snap was fumbled and Woodville's Trevor Hatton won the scramble among the mass of bodies to get the football spoiling a golden opportunity for the Bobcats to possibly get points.

An unsportsmanlike penalty on Woodville after the recovery moved the Eagles back to their 19 yard line. Fifteen plays later the Eagles would add to their lead.

Two penalties on Woodville were overcome the first on an 18-yard run by Zayon Williams and the second on a pass from Ralon Williams to Walker and two runs by Ralon for the first down.

For the third time in the game Ralon Williams and Walker hooked up for a big play. This pass play went 24 yards for the touchdown. Dwayne Koenig kicked the point after to give Woodville a 19-7 advantage with 49 seconds left in the third quarter.

Early in the fourth quarter a fourth long pass between Williams and Walker was narrowly avoided. Zach Morrow of the Bobcats made a superb play to bat the ball out of the hands of the taller Walker forcing an Eagle punt.

Orangefield had one more chance to get back in the game. The Bobcats got a first down run from Sandoval-Rodriguez to the Woodville 44.

A five-yard penalty was only a minor setback when on the next play Manning broke a couple of tackles on a run that would have been enough for a first down at the Eagles' 34. As Manning was going down the ball came out and again a pile of bodies tried to fall on it. The referees ruled the Eagles recovered the fumble the third turnover by Orangefield.

The final eight minutes of the game were consumed pretty much by two lengthy drives, one by each team that did not result in any points being scored. Fregia took over as the Bobcat quarterback when Gonzales was sacked trying to pass and Caleb connected on a pass for the longest Bobcat gain of the night of 26 yards to Jacob Worthy.

Orangefield got to the Woodville 17 before Gonzales was sacked again on the Bobcats' last play of the game. Ralon Williams took a knee after that to end the game.

Manning was the leading rusher for the Bobcats with 79 yards on 17 carries. Sandoval-Rodriguez carried the ball 12 times gaining 46 yards, and Smith had 7 carries for 33 yards.

The Bobcats passed for 49 yards completing 5 of 16 passes with one interception. The bulk of the passing yardage came on the late completion from Fregia to Worthy.

Woodville used the terrific trio of Ralon Williams, Zayon Williams, and Ty'Marion Walker. Zayon rushed for 92 yards and Ralon gained 53 yards on the ground. Ralon completed 11 of 17 passes for 132 yards and all three touchdowns to Walker who had six catches for 128 yards.

Next Friday will be the start of District 10-3A Division I action. The Orangefield Bobcats travel to face the Buna Cougars in their opening district game.


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