Hope Public SchoolsSchool NewsSports

Bobcats hampered by late injuries

Hope senior Defensive Back KJ Love turns on the jets after intercepting a Camden-Fairview pass in the Hope end zone in Friday’s game that saw the Bobcats beset by injuries late in the game. – Ken McLemore/Hope Public Schools

Ken McLemore

HOPE – A tie game going into the third quarter turned sour Friday night for the Hope Bobcats when late-game injuries in chilly, damp weather allowed the Camden-Fairview Cardinals to take advantage of mismatches on both sides of the ball.

Hope and Camden were tied at 21-all going into half-time, but Camden began to pull away in the third quarter, scoring 14 points in the stanza, but was held to only 7 points in the final quarter as Hope put up 6 points in a 42-27 loss.

The Bobcats looked better than the scoreboard throughout the game, grabbing one Cardinal fumble and intercepting Camden-Fairview for a Pick-Six early in the game and two more interceptions on the night.

Hope was all air traffic as sophomore Reserve Quarterback Tyler Patterson directed the Bobcat attack in place of an injured senior Ammorrion Dempsey. Patterson threw 10/22 for 278 yards and three touchdowns without interception for the game. Senior Wide Receiver Ty’Zhun Jones pulled in 6 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns, while junior Wide Receiver Triston Young caught one ball for 42 yards and a touchdown.

Senior Running Back Kearon Brown started the Cats’ night with an 87-yard Pick-Six as Camden-Fairview drove late in the first quarter to start a scoring frenzy on both sides.

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Then, Patterson uncorked the 42-yard chunk to Young that he took to the house on the right side while everyone boiled to the left side of the line. The PAT by sophomore Juan Ortiz was good on both plays.

The Bobcats attempted to stay on the ground but could not get the ball into the end zone as Camden-Fairview’s defense stiffened. Patterson went back to the air with under a minute left in the half, dropping a 59-yard bomb for Jones as he split two defenders on the right side, reached back for the ball and never looked back to score.

Ortiz’s PAT was good and the game was 21-all.

The Cats elected the on-side kick and everyone in Hammons Stadium thought Hope had recovered on the Camden-Fairview 40-yard line. But, the officials ruled there was no control of the ball until it was out of bounds and the Cardinals got the ball.

Senior Defensive Back KJ Love struck next for the Cats about halfway through the third quarter, intercepting the ball in the Hope end zone and carrying it 35 yards, but the Bobcats were unable to score.

Junior Defensive Back Kaleo Anderson read Camden’s mail, again, with five minutes left in the game and snared a Cardinal pass to put Hope at first down on the Bobcat 41-yard line.

Hope, again, went to the friendly skies three minutes later as Patterson hit Jones for the TD, but the PAT was no good, putting Hope down 35-27.

Defensively, the Bobcats stopped Camden-Fairview four times for losses with two plays by senior Defensive End Montavius Eason, who had six tackles with three assists on the night. Sophomore Linebacker KD Gulley had seven tackles on the night with one assist. Senior Linebacker Richard Ware shot the gap to stop one Cardinal play for a loss, while sophomore Linebacker Richard Cunningham contributed one stop for loss.

But late in the third quarter, Bobcat starters began dropping all over the field with muscle cramp injuries. No less than four starters were taken out of the game at key intervals and Camden-Fairview immediately took advantage of mismatches.

The loss puts Hope at 1-3 in conference 5A South.

The game demonstrated the significance of the two-fer that Dempsey and Patterson have become for the Bobcats at quarterback, by comparison against Hot Springs Lakeside last week that saw Hope pass 8/18 for 184 yards and two TDs and run 34 for 233 yards and two TDs on the ground.

Dempsey was 4/6 for 58 yards and a TD while Patterson was 4/12 for 126 yards and one TD at Lakeside; but Dempsey ground out 125 yards on the ground on nine carries with one TD, while Gulley scored once on four for 15 yards and Jones picked up 140 yards receiving and two touchdowns for that game.

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