Hope Public SchoolsSchool NewsSports

Hope to open conference play on the road against DeQueen Friday night

The Hope Bobcats’ Kaleo Anderson takes a Prescott kickoff to the end zone early in Friday night’s road game.

After Hope’s 60-20 defeat on the Prescott’s Wolves field Friday night, the Bobcats (0-3) Coach Phil Turner said, “We didn’t execute, and you can’t do that versus good teams, and Prescott took advantage of it.”

The urgency to get a win this coming Friday will be high for both teams as Hope takes on DeQueen on the road.

Asked whether the Bobcats had at least picked up some knowledge from the night’s action that could help them later, Turner said, “What was learned from the Prescott game is that it’s over, and that we now have to refocus and clean up some areas offensively, defensively and [in our] special teams going into conference play, starting this Friday.”

DeQueen (0-3), like Hope, still has not won a game this year, but it made things close against Mena in its home opener, losing 16-14. Mena is now a two-win team. And, like Hope’s Bobcats, the DeQueen Leopards have also lost big to Nashville (50-21) and Ashdown (45-0) but DeQueen lost those on the road.

Turner says DeQueen has definitely developed an identity on offense despite its record: “DeQueen is a smash mouth football team and they’re going to try to run the ball down your throat until you stop it. We challenged our interior guys that this has to be their best game of the season. First, because it’s the first game of the conference [season], and second, their toughness and their discipline is going to be challenging, because, facing their offense, you have to play assignment football.”

Despite its losses, though, Hope has shown the ability at times to run the ball, with Tamorrion Lindsey finding some daylight multiple times against Prescott to start the second half of play. It has also found some success in staging long passing plays, with Tyler Patterson using his strong arm to find Kaleo Anderson, as he did for a 30-yard gain against Prescott that led to a short pass to Anderson for a touchdown before halftime Friday night. (Anderson also ran a kickoff back for a touchdown in the early going.)

Holiday Inn Express Best Western Hampton by Hilton

Probably because of such bright spots in otherwise dark nights, Turner said, “our morale is still high. The kids understand that we played three very good ball clubs in non-conference. Did we want to win those games? Yes, but those three games prepared us for the grind we will see in the 5A-South Conference. So yeah, everyone has been locked in and ready this week because the new season has begun.”

Meanwhile it will also help to have a fully healthy team as Hope travels to Sevier County to face the Leopards. “We are healthy going into the DeQueen game. We get our starting Linebacker KD Gulley back this week from an ankle injury versus Ashdown that had him sidelined last week versus Prescott.”

The game takes place at DeQueen’s Leopard Stadium, with kickoff set for 7:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on SWARK.Today.

Back to top button