Bobcats ‘bridge’ Hogs for win

By Ken McLemore/Hope Public Schools, 11/1/21 7:27 PM

HOPE – The Bridge came home Friday night.

The Hope Bobcats brought the Fulton Red River Bridge Trophy back to Hope with a 43-19 romp over the Texarkana Arkansas High School Razorbacks to win the 2021 Battle of the Bridge.

The Bobcats piled up 441 yards of total offense with 166 yards in the air and 275 yards on the ground on the night in a game that saw Hope take advantage of holes in the Razorback passing game.

Bobcat Senior Ammorion Dempsey, back at quarterback and defensive back after being sidelined with an injury last week, tore up the Arkansas High air offense with three interceptions on the night that gave Hope two scoring opportunities. Dempsey also made one Razorback fumble scoop that he took 84 yards to the house.

Dempsey had 155 yards on the ground in 13 carries that scored three touchdowns on the night.

Dempsey and sophomore Quarterback Tyler Patterson, again, gave Hope a two-fer at quarterback that saw Dempsey complete 3/4 in the air for 43 yards and Patterson throwing 5/8 for 123 yards and one shot to Dempsey for a 63-yard TD dash.

It was the Patterson-Dempsey combo that started the night right for the Bobcats early in the first quarter as Dempsey snared a Razorback pass on the Hope 36-yard line. Then, on the next play, Patterson took the snap, dropped back in the pocket and never flinched as he fired a 20-yard bullet over the middle to Dempsey who turned on the jets to the left sideline and was gone.

The Bobcats struck, again, with six minutes left in the first stanza after forcing a Razorback punt and pushing the ball to the one-yard line, where sophomore Running Back Tamorrion Lindsey crashed through for the TD to put Hope up 12-0.

The Cats threatened, again, with a minute left in the first quarter as junior Defensive Back Jaqualin Watson took the air out of the Arkansas passing attack to give Hope the ball on its 36-yard line. But, the Cats were unable to turn the opportunity into points.

The Cats turned it around, again, early in the second quarter as Dempsey grabbed a loose Razorback ball at the Hope 16-yard line and blasted down the right sideline untouched for the TD.

Then, with three minutes left in the first half, the Bobcat defense rose to the occasion and forced the Razorbacks to give up the ball on downs at the Hope 37-yard line. On the next play, Dempsey, operating at QB let the play stack up in the middle of the line, then he shot past the corner on the right side and sailed down the sideline to score.

The Cats forced Arkansas High to punt, again, about mid-way through the third quarter and took possession on the Hope 35-yard line. The Bobcats pounded the ball to the one-yard line where Dempsey put it across on the ground to put Hope up 30-6.

Early in the fourth stanza, Dempsey stole another Razorback pass to put Hope at 1/10 on its own 31-yard line. On the next play, Dempsey stretched the Arkansas defense along the left side and cut the corner to score.

Hope’s defense, again, stood tall against the Razorbacks, forcing Arkansas High to punt halfway through the last quarter. Hope took the ball on its 20-yard line and marched it 80 yards with Lindsey capping the drive and the night for Hope on a one-yard run to score.

Bobcat Head Coach Phillip Turner later hoisted the Fulton Red River Bridge Trophy for the Hope team and crowd, representing the return of the icon to its origins. Created on the University of Arkansas-Hope campus in 2018 under a commission by the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana to metal artist Bobby Brinkmeyer, the replica of the railroad trestle bridge represents the link across the Red River between Texas and Arkansas with Texarkana and Hope the two largest schools in the UAHT service region.

Both schools have been members of the AAA 5A South conference since 2018, neither having competed against the other in conference play prior to that year.