Sports

Arkansas High spooks Bobcats in Hope 45-7

HS version of Razorbacks take UAHT Bridge trophy home

By Rick Kennedy, managing editor
Hammons Stadium proved to be a Halloween house of horrors for the home team as Hope collapsed under the weight of Arkansas High’s big plays in a 45-7 decision.
With less than four minutes to play, Hope finally got on the board, when QB Hunter Hellums connected with Emanuel Lawson for the game’s final score, long after the outcome was secure for the High School Razorbacks.
Most of the damage was done in the first half, after ironically Hope missed the first scoring opportunity of the night in the first quarter on a missed field goal in their first possession. After that, it was never a contest.
The High School Razorbacks actually looked spooked on their very first possession, when the offense threw three straight incomplete passes, and immediately turned the ball over to the Bobcats.
Hope tried to take advantage of the opportunity, getting into the red zone, but the drive produced nothing when the field goal attempt clanked off the goal posts.
It was Hope that was cursed afterwards, seeing Arkansas High reel off 28 unanswered points during the rest of the first quarter. The second quarter proved just as haunting for Hope as the Razorbacks score two touchdowns and a field goal of their own. The half ended with the Bobcats on the wrong side of a 45-0 deficit.
The most damaging sequence may have occurred right after the Razorbacks first got on the board with 6:22 left in the first quarter. After Arkansas High star running back Cameron Collier scored on a two-yard touchdown to make it 7-0, Hope fumbled the ball on a botched handoff. The ball was picked up by Razorback LB Demtrias Charles, who ran it back for another Arkansas High score, literally within seconds of Collier’s run, and suddenly, Hope was looking up at a 14-0 scoreboard.
And, just that quick, Hope’s bubble was deflated. Collier would add two more touchdown runs to give Arkansas High a huge cushion at 28-0 before the first quarter ended.
The game was touted as the first regular season conference contest between the two schools, and it was specially promoted by the University of Arkansas at Hope/Texarkana, which has college campuses in both locations.
UAHT Chancellor Chris Thomason was even invited to midfield for the official coin toss, and the coin itself was made by the UAHT welders with Arkansas High depicted on one side and Hope High on the other.
With this year’s scheduling, Friday’s night affair also celebrated Hope High School Senior’s night, where the Sr. football players, cheerleaders, and all the seniors from the fall sports season were honored prior to the game, which was Hope’s last home contest of the year.
Arkansas High moved to 8-1 for the 2018 season, while Hope dropped to 1-8. Both teams play their final regular season games next week with Hope traveling to Magnolia, while Arkansas High faces DeQueen. Magnolia finished Friday’s action with a 5-4 record and will be fighting for a playoff spot, leaving the Bobcats in the likely role of spoiler.

UAHT Chancellor Chris Thomason was invited to midfield for the coin toss, and the coin itself was made by the UAHT welders with Arkansas High depicted on one side and Hope High on the other. (Rick Kennedy photo)
The Hope Lions Club was on hand outside the stadium serving up warm chili. (Rick Kennedy photo)
Friday’s game was also Seniors Night for fall sports and the senior cheerleaders, like Jaidyn Simington. (Rick Kennedy photo)
Hope’s massive 6-foott-6 DE Toney Philips (71) gets ready for the end rush. (Rick Kennedy photo)

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