Bobcats fail to make playoffs for first time in six years

HAMBURG – Hamburg relied on its passing game and defense and took advantage of three special teams blunders by Dumas to end the Bobcats’ playoff run at six years Thursday as the Lions celebrated Senior Night with a 34-14 victory at Campbell Field.

In addition to giving up an 80-yard punt return for a touchdown, an 80-yard kickoff return that set up an answering touchdown after Dumas had pulled within 21-7 and a momentum-killing fumbled punt, the Bobcats turned the ball over on downs at the Lion 43, 22, 25 and 34.

That was more than enough to send Dumas home with a 3-4 8-4A Conference mark and 3-7 overall, and clinch third place for the Lions, who enter the playoffs 6-4 overall and 5-2 in league play.

The teams swapped punts on their opening possessions, then the Lions used pass completions of 35 yards from quarterback Logan Morris to Deandrea Rachal and 18 yards to Trey Miller to set up Lamarco Harris’ 3-yard scoring run with 6:23 left in the first period. Conner Callaway kicked the PAT for a 7-0 Hamburg lead.

Dumas came up short on fourth-and-4 at the Lion 43 on its next possession and Hamburg took a 14-0 lead on a 23-yard pass from Morris to Rashad Williams and Callaway’s point-after with 11:05 remaining in the half. The teams again exchanged punts before Desnond Stanley returned the next Dumas kick 80 yards to score with 5:46 on the clock. Callaway kicked the Lions ahead 21-0.

Dumas drove from its 20 to the Hamburg 17, but lost five yards on third-and-1 and gave up the ball at the 22 as time expired in the half.

The Bobcats needed only five plays to score after a short kickoff gave them the ball at the Dumas 45 to open the third quarter. Quarterback Ryan Miller threw for 13 yards to Derreon Jenkins to open the drive, which R.J. Bailey capped with a 28-yard touchdown run at the 10:36 mark of the period. Jairo Ramirez kicked the PAT.

The Lions answered quickly as Stanley took the ensuing kickoff at his 15 and was not dragged down until he had reached the Dumas 5. Miller ran it in from there with 10:17 on the clock and Callaway kicked the PAT for a 28-7 Hamburg lead.

Dumas came back with a 58-yard, 13-play drive that ended on a 12-yard run by Bailey with 6:06 left in the third. Ramirez kicked the Bobcats within 28-14, but that was as close as it would get.

Dumas’ Cortland Austin intercepted a Logan Morris pass in the end zone with 2:48 left before the Bobcats again failed on fourth-and-short at the Lion 25 as the quarter ended.

The Lions ended up punting from their 30, but Mont’dre Spencer fumbled the kick at his 32 and a Hamburg player outfought him for the ball with 9:29 remaining. Dumas senior John Scott Shepherd recovered a Hamburg fumble at the Bobcat 10 with 7:24 left, but Dumas gave it back on downs at the 34 three minutes later and Harris tacked on the Lions’ final touchdown with 1:34 left. The PAT kick was wide, leaving the score 34-14 as Dumas ran two plays before time expired.