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Bobcats wrap against Magnolia, tumble to Texarkana

By Ken McLemore/Hope Public Schools, 11/3/20 5:12 PM

HOPE – The Hope Bobcats football varsity will wrap up regular season play away Friday night against Magnolia after tumbling to Texarkana Arkansas High last week in a game that could have been brighter for the Cats but for turnovers.

Magnolia plays its Homecoming game Friday against the Bobcats after taking apart DeQueen last week in a post-COVID-19 return to the gridiron. Game time in Magnolia will be 7 p.m.

The Panthers were ready to romp against DeQueen, putting up 55 points against the Leopards in the first half and coasting the rest of the way to win 55-7.

Magnolia had two TDs called back on penalties and kept the defensive pressure on the Leopards all night, forcing fumbles and capitalizing on them.

The Bobcats also had a monster night against DeQueen, 42-13, in Hope’s only conference win, and have put up respectable numbers on the season, running for 781 yards and 153 carries and throwing for 422 yards on 25 of 77 passes.

Defensively, the Cats forced 5 interceptions, two for touchdowns, and 5 fumbles with four for touchdowns before their game against Texarkana, Oct. 30.

While the numbers remained respectable against Texarkana Arkansas last week, the Razorbacks maintained their control over the 5A South conference and their state playoff opportunities with a 33-13 win against the Bobcats at Hammons Stadium.

Hope ran 188 yards on the night with 83 yards in the air for 271 yards of total offense against Texarkana.

The Razorbacks were not as explosive as their resume, in part due to a layoff when COVID-19 canceled their game against Hot Springs. That afforded Hope some defensive opportunities, forcing one fumble and one interception from the Hogs.

The Bobcat defense found the key to Texarkana’s door early and pushed against the Hogs vaunted offense with pressure against the quarterback, but Texarkana connected on 10 of 20 passes for 107 yards and was consistent on the ground for 209 yards on 31 carries on the night.

The Cats found the end zone the first time late in the second quarter as Quarterback Ammorrion Dempsey moved his troops downfield with two quick passes and four runs by Junior Keyuan Booker.

Dempsey made the QB dive from the one for the score, but the PAT was no good.

Hope was plagued by Texarkana’s air defense efficiency which picked off Dempsey three times to stymie the Bobcat offense, and a safety on a fourth down punt in the third quarter added to the disappointment.

The Cats forced Texarkana’s lone fumble late in the fourth quarter recovering the ball inside Razorback territory. Then, on fourth down, Dempsey hit Booker, again, for a 12-yard catch and a fresh set of downs. Booker pounded out the yardage on three plays for Hope’s final score of the night, leading the Bobcat ground game with 16 carries for 66 yards.