HOPE – It wasn’t a pretty game; it was a mess on both sides of the field. But, the disappointment of a Homecoming loss by the Hope Bobcats to Hot Springs might be eased by the knowledge that the Trojans left Hammons Stadium with plenty of scratches.
The 63-42 score in Hot Springs’ favor didn’t tell the whole story.
The Bobcats contracted fumblitis, losing two of two, and were intercepted twice; but, Hot Springs fumbled and its passing attack lost two interceptions. All of those miscues contributed to the high scoring game.
But, Bobcat Quarterback Ammorrion Dempsey threw for 3/13 for 76 yards and one touchdown, while running on 17 carries for 156 yards and one touchdown.
On the night, the Cats’ ran on 30 carries for 225 yards; and, Junior Kearon Brown carried 4/17, Senior Chelerome McFadden went 2/30, and Junior Keyuan Booker rushed 7/22.
Junior Davion Durden caught 1/7, McFadden 1/59 with a touchdown, and Booker 1/10.
The Bobcats amassed 455 yards of total offense for the game.
While Hot Springs’ passing attack was fine-tuned, the Trojans mixed up their offense in the second half to break their pattern of static second-half scoring; which put the Bobcats on defense for much of the remainder of the game.
Hot Springs elected to receive the opening kick-off and came out passing, hitting two long ones for successive touchdowns; but, that was the extent of the Trojan scoring in the opening stanza.
Hope fought back, but had trouble converting, until a minute shy of the end of the first quarter, Dempsey took off on a 33-yard romp for a touchdown, and the PAT was good.
The Trojans fumbled the ensuing kick-off and the Cats recovered on the Hot Springs 29-yard line; but, after Dempsey charged to the Trojan 4-yard marker, he was intercepted on a pass to shut down the drive.
Then, at four minutes into the second quarter, Dempsey took a Hot Springs kick 80 yards to the end zone and the Cats’ PAT was good.
Hampered by Hot Springs’ passing, the Cats stalled on offense as well late in the first half, but Durden pulled in a Trojan fumble and ran it in for the score and the PAT was good.
The Cats went scoreless in the third quarter; but, the defense continued some heavy lifting against the Trojan attack.
Booker had a monster night defensively, turning in 8 solo tackles, while McFadden had 6 solo hits. Senior Kenneth Anderson made 5 solos and 1 assist, while Junior Kai Hamilton dropped 4 ball carriers with 1 assist. Dempsey and Junior Andre Dafney each had 3 solo tackles on the night. Sophomore DeKobe Conway had 2 solos and 1 assist.
Juniors Tyree Phillips, Gregory Burton, and Sophomores Jaqualin Watson and Kaleo Anderso had 2 solos each; while Solomon and Junior Erik Haynie each had 1 solo and 1 assist. Senior Oathis Ward and Junior Roosevelt Wyatt both had 1 solo tackle; and, Brown had 1 assist on the night.
The defense helped the Cats finish the night with their strongest quarter in the fourth period as Durden recovered a Hot Springs fumble four minutes into the stanza, and Dempsey uncorked a 59-yard pass to McFadden for the touchdown and PAT.
Then, with five minutes left in the game, Solomon grabbed a Trojan fumble and rambled 75 yards to the end zone, and the PAT gave Hope 14 points on the quarter.
Brown capped the Hope effort with under a minute in the game by returning a Hot Springs kick-off 80 yards for the score and the PAT was good.
The Cats get a breather this week with an open date on Oct. 9, and will return to conference play Oct. 16 at Hammons Stadium against Lakeside.