HOPE – Hope Bobcat Quarterback Ammorrion Dempsey took a verse from the classic Beatles song “With a Little Help From My Friends” and sparked the Hope High School football squad to a 42-13 conference opener win over DeQueen at DeQueen.
Amassing more than 100 yards rushing and 100-plus yards passing, and snaring four interceptions on the night, Dempsey was all over the field as he took advantage of a Bobcat offensive line that dominated the DeQueen defense.
The stats for the game looked different from the story as Hope gained six first downs against 11 for the Leopards, converting only 3/9 on third down, while DeQueen converted 3/13; and, both teams lost the ball on fumbles once. Penalties also hurt both sides with six each.
But, Dempsey’s prescience about the Leopard’s passing game resulting in four interceptions was also a key factor.
The Bobcats established themselves offensively and defensively early as Dempsey showed he could scramble and pass with Hope at its own 41-yard line in the first quarter, firing a shot to Wide Receiver Davion Durden for a 19-yard gain.
After forcing DeQueen to punt, Dempsey fielded the ball at the Hope 25 and cut across the grain on the right side to midfield; but, the Cats did not convert. Then, as DeQueen worked from its own 37, Dempsey and Short Safety Javaris Solomon closed on the Leopard’s pass, but not before DeQueen had a first down.
Working from their own 43, the Leopards went back to the pass; but,Bobcat Defensive Lineman Gregory Burton almost blocked the pass, putting it off the mark and into Dempsey’s hands.
With Hope driving in the first quarter, Dempsey dump-passed on the right side to Wide Receiver Chelerome McFadden, who bobbed and weaved along the sideline to the DeQueen 16. Dempsey took the snap, again, faked to Running Back Erik Haynie, then shot up the middle and crossed into the right corner of the end zone for Hope’s first of six touchdowns.
Hope went into the second quarter up 7-0.
Meanwhile, the Bobcat defense kept DeQueen rattled, as Senior Defensive Lineman Oathis Ward teamed with Inside Linebacker Anthony Hall and Senior Linebacker Kenneth Anderson to tear up the Leopards’ line. Ward led the charge to create two losses for DeQueen, and stuffed the play at the line late in the first quarter to bottle up the Leopards.
Then, in the second quarter, with DeQueen working at the Hope 33, the Leopards handed off on the left side and the play cut back right against the grain. Ward pushed off the defender, and teamed with Hall to stop the play after only two yards.
The Cats went back to work in the second quarter as Dempsey picked off the Leopards, again, at midfield and flew untouched into the end zone to score for Hope.
Holding off the Leopards, again, on defense, Hope struck deep as DeQueen punted from its 30-yard line, and Dempsey fielded the ball cleanly at the Hope 35. With Hope jerseys clearing the way, Dempsey threaded the needle along the Hope sideline, stutter-stepping at the DeQueen 20 and cutting across the grain to the DeQueen 10-yard line.
Later, with the Leopards at their own 18 and looking to pass, Junior Inside Linebacker Keyuan Booker tipped the ball into Dempsey’s hands.
Dempsey cut to his left, rounded the pack and slipped back against the grain, breaking one tackle, as he dashed into the end zone.
With DeQueen forced to punt midway in the second quarter, Dempsey fielded the ball on the Hope 40 in the middle of the field, then cut down the Hope sideline, but was forced out of bounds at the DeQueen 48. Hope failed to convert.
Dempsey showed some defensive skills, as DeQueen faked and turned the play into the middle of the field where Dempsey met the Leopard runner with a monster hit at the DeQueen 45.
Then, with 3 and 13 on its own 48, DeQueen’s quarterback ran a keeper up-field at the corner, only to be met by Dempsey, who dropped him at the DeQueen 49. The Leopard drive stalled as Dempsey worked from the safety spot.
The Bobcats went back to work on offense to put themselves up 27-0 late in the first half, as Dempsey took the snap from center, faked the hand-off, then cut up the middle, turning the play back to the Hope sideline, where he charged into the end zone on a 65-yard romp.
Hope completed its domination of DeQueen in the third quarter, giving up the Leopards’ 13 points in the second half, but sealing the game with 15 points for the Bobcats.
Working from the DeQueen three-yard line, Dempsey took the snap and faked the hand-off, then he pushed into the pack on the left side and the Bobcat offensive line left Leopard jerseys all over the ground as Dempsey followed his protection into the end zone.
The Cats closed the night with a 17-yard end zone dash by Junior Running Back Kearon Brown, and a heads up two-point conversion on a throwback to Offensive Lineman Gregory Burton who put it over for the Cats.
The win brings Hope to 1-0 in conference play and 1-3 on the season. The Bobcats take on the Hot Springs Trojans at homecoming Friday night at Hammons Stadium.