DUMAS – Last year in Mayflower, sophomore Eagle quarterback Adam Dycus took the Dumas defense to school in a 41-13 decision in a game called off with 6:55 left because of lightning. He ended up 14-of-18 in the air for 326 yards and no interceptions, with two of the misses dropped passes.
He proved even tougher as a junior with a full 48 minutes to work with as he ran for one score and went 22-of-37 in the air for 324 yards, five touchdowns and one interception, the Eagles’ lone turnover in a 45-26 victory that spoiled the Bobcats’ home and season opener at Tidwell Field.
Dumas drove 45 yards to take the lead after Lamar Hemphill intercepted a Dycus pass on the fourth play of the game.
Quarterback Ryan Miller threw 15 yards to Cortland Austin with 7:34 left and it remained 6-0 after the PAT kick try was low, but – like last year – Dumas drew first blood.
The Eagles only had to travel 34 yards after Justin Bailey returned the ensuing kickoff 38 yards. Dycus tossed a six yard scoring pass to Madison Chambliss with 6:25 left in the opening quarter and Drew Duncan’s PAT gave the Eagles was would turn out to be a permanent lead at 7-6.
Dumas senior Martin Lee Walt pinned Mayflower at its two with a 42 yard punt on the Bobcats’ next possession, but that didn’t slow down the Eagles, who marched 98 yards in 11 plays to go ahead 13-6 on a three yard run by Bailey with 1:30 left in the quarter. The PAT failed.
The Bobcats could have drawn even or taken the lead on a fourth-and-12 pass play from the Mayflower 44 with 11:00 remaining in the half, but Ladarius Harris couldn’t haul in a pass from Miller near the 15. The Eagles responded with a nine play scoring drive capped by an 11-yard Dycus-to-Chambliss pass at the 8:13 mark of the second quarter to make it 19-6 before Duncan’s point-after kick.
A Walt punt again set Mayflower inside its 10, this time at the eight, but the Eagles again went on a long drive, this one of 12 plays, as Dycus kept from the six on a keeper to score for a 26-6 lead for the visitors. Duncan kicked the PAT to make it 27-6.
The Bobcats drove from their 40 to the Eagle nine inside the final minute of the half, but Miller was sacked twice as Mayflower took over and ran out the clock.
Dumas had several chances to get back in it as the second half began, twice dropping potential interceptions with the Bobcat defenders facing nothing but open field and covering a free ball on a kickoff error, but capitalized only once before the Eagles put the game out of reach.
Ladarius Harris returned an onside kick to the Mayflower 20 as the third period began to set up a 19 yard touchdown run by Brenston Neal with 11:37 on the clock. The score remained 27-12 after the PAT failed but the Bobcats found themselves back in business when Mayflower failed to cover the ensuing kickoff and Jarion Woods grabbed it for Dumas at the 21.
After Neal carried to the nine, however, the junior running back was dropped for a one yard loss four plays later on fourth-and-goal from the one with 9:29 left.
Mayflower didn’t manage a length-of-the-field drive this time, punting from its 14, and the ‘Cats got the ball at the Eagle 45. After Miller threw 10 yards to Dev Buchannan, he was sacked and a procedure call set the Bobcats back to the 44. A shanked punt from midfield gave Mayflower the ball and the Eagles overcame three holding penalties to score on a 12 yard pass from Dycus to Josh Woodham with 4:18 still on the clock. The score remained 33-12 after the PAT kick bounced off the center of the goal post.
The kickoff went out of bounds and Dumas drove 65 yards in five plays to pull within 33-18 on a 43 yard pass from Miller to Buchannan with 3:01 left in the third.
Mayflower started its next drive at its 34 and went on top 39-18 on an eight yard scoring pass from Dycus to Chambliss with 32 seconds remaining in the third period. The PAT was no good.
The Bobcats punted from their 23 on their next possession and the Eagles pushed their lead to 45-18 when Dycus tossed a 16 yard touchdown pass to Woodham with 9:19 left in the game.
The teams swapped punts before Ladarius Harris, in at quarterback, led Dumas to its final points on a 33 yard touchdown run with 1:23 left in the game, cuttingthe deficit to 45-24 before he threw to Keondrick Spencer for the two-point conversion to close out the scoring at 45-26.
Dumas travels to McGehee next Friday in the latest battle for the unofficial Desha County championship while Mayflower hosts Dardanelle.