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Worthing slides past Orangefield

By Gerry Dickert
The News Correspondent

ORANGEFIELD – The fireworks over Bobcats Stadium served in odd juxtaposition to the Orangefield football team gathered near midfield where they tried to figure out just what happened on a night that should have ended in celebration.
The bright explosions in the sky that marked homecoming for the Bobcats fell on indifferent shoulders as the team mourned together a 35-31 loss to Houston Worthing, a game which Orangefield could have, should have, won.
“The bottom line is, we turned over the ball,” said Bobcats head coach Josh Smalley. “We had a chance to go up two scores in the third quarter, and we give the ball away inside our red zone.”
Orangefield, now 3-3 overall with the loss, went step for step in a footrace with the extremely fast Worthing Colts. At one point, the Bobcats led Worthing by 10, 24-14 when Christopher McGee capped a five-play, 62-yard drive to open the second half.
Worthing came back quickly, scoring on a 64-yard drive with Roderick Maxwell bulling his way in from the 8. An extra-point run by quarterback Alfred Robertson cut the score to 24-22 with 7:48 left in the third quarter.
The Bobcats fumbled away possession on the second play of the next drive and Worthing went 56 yards in 8 plays to take the lead 28-24.
The Bobcats weren’t through, though. Led by quarterback Matthew Watkins, Orangefield moved quickly to score. On third down, Watkins went to the right side, broke free with a nasty spin move that left Worthing’s defense frozen, and went 49 yards for a 31-28 OF lead.
The Bobcats defense went to work on the next Worthing possession with the Colts forced to turn the ball over on downs.
Christopher McGee opened the Bobcats’ ensuing possession with a 15-yard run, then Watkins went 27 yards to the Worthing 6 yard line. Just six yards stood between the Bobcats and a seemingly impenetrable lead. That’s when OF fumbled away possession again, giving Wortham new life at the 9 yard line.
It took the Colts eight plays to move 91 yards, led by Robertson at QB, as he completed the final pass to his brother, Johntiz Robertson, for 5 yards and the 35-31 final margin.
The Bobcats got one last chance to sneak away with a win as they drove the field from their own 35 to the Colts’ 8 yard line. During the drive, Watkins watched from the sidelines, his arm in a sling. With Mason Gonzales at the helm, the Cats drove but couldn’t convert on fourth-and-5, giving the Colts the win.
Alfred Robertson did the job for the Colts, rushing for 141 yards on 20 carries while throwing for another 204 yards on 18 of 22 completions with one interception. Johntiz was his top receiver with eight catches for 122 yards.
“We felt like we were going to have to put up some points to keep up with them,” Smalley said. “The brothers are a couple of special athletes, so we knew we would have to focus on containing them.
“I don’t question the heart of our kids, we just didn’t play well enough to win tonight,” he said.
A broken down bus kept Worthing off the field until just before the delayed 8 p.m. kickoff, but it didn’t appear to affect the Colts too much as they marched their first possession for a score. Robertson connected with Deeago Thomas for a 15-yard TD and a 7-0 lead.
Orangefield finally got on the board early in the second quarter when the Bobcats drove 58 yards with Watkins scoring on a 2-yard run.
Worthing matched that score with one of its own as the Robertson brothers connected on a 13-yard strike for a 14-7 lead.
Orangefield matched that with a 60-yard drive that ended with Watkins rolling in from 4 yards to knot the game at 14-14.
On the next Worthing drive, Robertson was driving the Colts close to another score when Orangefield’s Chase Furlough stepped in at the 8-yard line, intercepted the ball and returned it to the 43. The Bobcats managed to drive to the 12, giving Matthew Rainey the opportunity for a 29-yard field goal. His try split the uprights and the Bobcats went into the locker room with a 17-14 lead.
Watkins led all rushers with 203 yards on 19 carries, while McGee added 172 yards on 29 carries.