LAKE VILLAGE — Searching for their first win as they opened 8-4A Conference play Friday, the Dumas Bobcats had to earn it at a place where they usually struggle, watching most of an early 14-0 lead evaporate before the they pulled away for a 54-24 victory over the Lakeside Beavers.
Behind the running of senior Paul Steward (162 yards on 11 carries) and junior Reginald Bailey (73 yards on five rushes), the Bobcats never trailed as Bailey scored on the first play from scrimmage on a 38-yard run with just 11 seconds gone. Steward then capped an 8-play, 78-yard drive on a 22-yard run with 6:32 left after a Lake Village punt. Jairo Ramirez kicked both PATs and Dumas appeared headed for more when the fumble bug hit.
The Bobcats has driven from their 16 to the Beaver 39 when Kevin Burgess recovered a fumble at the 49 to end the drive, and Lakeside scored on a 27-yard keeper by quarterback Tamavious Johnson with 11:04 left in the half. The point after kick was partially blocked.
Devanta Brown recovered a Bobcat fumble at midfield on the next Dumas possession and Juwan Parker carried it in from the six with 7:04 left in the half to pull the hosts within 14-12, with the PAT pass try intercepted by Bailey.
The Beavers failed on an onside kick attempt and Dumas quickly moved from its 49 to take a 20-12 lead on a 19-yard run by Bailey with 5:25 on the clock, with the PAT wide.
The Bobcats forced a punt before giving up the ball on downs at the Lakeside 22, but Martin Lee Walt recovered a fumble at the 15 with 48.6 seconds left to give Dumas a reprieve. Bobcat senior Malachi Pointer scored from the eight two plays later to push the Dumas lead to 26-12 with 34.7 seconds left. The two-point try failed when quarterback Ryan Miller stepped out of bounds as he lunged into the end zone. A long kickoff return and pass put Lake Village at the Dumas 13 as time expired on an incomplete pass.
Dumas hit quickly to start the third period as Terry Gibson returned a fumble 32 yards for a touchdown at the 11:05 mark and Ramirez kicked the PAT to make it 33-12, then – after a fake punt try failed at the Beaver 42 – Steward ran 25 yards to set up his 5-yard touchdown run with 6:54 left in the third. The PAT kick gave Dumas a 40-12 lead.
The Beavers answered with a 48-yard drive capped by a 12-yard pass from Malik Adams to Johnson with 4:22 left, with the PAT failing, and a 1-yard run by Johnson after Lakeside had recovered a fumble at the Bobcat 48. The two-point try failed with 1:11 remaining in the third.
The Bobcats responded with a 45-yard touchdown run by Lamar Hemphill as time expired in the period for a 46-24 lead, with the point-after no good, and closed out the scoring on a 9-yard run by D’Amonte Trotter with 5:05 left in the game. Ladarius Harris took the snap on the PAT and ran it in for the final 54-24 margin.
Dumas hosts Crossett in 8-4A play next Friday for Homecoming, while the Beavers will entertain DeWitt, also in league play.