CROSSETT – Red zone failures, dropped passes and untimely defensive lapses were the difference Friday as the Dumas Bobcats fell to the Crossett Eagles, 24-16, in an 8-4A Conference contest.
Dumas (1-4 overall, 1-1 8-4A) is now exactly where it was a year ago with 8-4A favorite Warren next on the schedule. Crossett (2-3 overall, 1-1 in league play) visits a much-improved DeWitt team on Friday with possible playoff implications.
Much as they did a year ago in a 14-7 home loss to Crossett, the Bobcats watched opportunity after opportunity fizzle, beginning with an opening drive that reached the Eagle one before a quarterback Ladarius Harris was dropped for a five yard loss on fourth down. The Bobcat defense did hold, force a punt and give Dumas a 2-0 lead with 4:22 on the clock when Crossett quarterback Hunter Welch was dropped in the end zone for a safety by Damontae Trotter and Lamar Hemphill.
The Bobcats reached the Eagle 20 on their next possession before fumbling the ball away after a pass reception, then the teams traded punts before Crossett drove 55 yards on five plays to take the lead with 9:36 left in the half on an eight yard scoring run by Trey Miller. Xdraveous Jackson added the PAT for an 8-2 Eagle lead.
Dumas answered with a 23 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ryan Miller to Markaileon Ricks with 7:57 left in the half. The PAT kick failed to leave the teams tied at 8-8. The touchdown was set up by a kickoff return by Cortland Austin to the Eagle 21.
It appeared the teams might go into the intermission even, but Crossett took the lead on a 50-yard touchdown pass from Welch to Jackson with 43.8 seconds left and Dominic Bridges added the PAT. Jackson split a pair of would-be tacklers on the play to score untouched and break the tie.
Crossett got the ball back after Dumas had held on downs at its eight and reached its 35. After two incompletions, there was a flag for an ineligible receiver downfield that appeared to have been waved off and Dumas ran another play. After the officials conferred as Dumas prepared to run another play from the 34, Crossett was awarded the ball and scored two plays later.
Ryan Miller scored on a nine yard run on fourth down with 3:58 left in the third period and Brenston Neal added the PAT to knot the score at 16-16, but Crossett regained the lead after a three yard Bobcat punt gave the Eagles the ball at the Dumas 28. Jackson scored from the 11 with 12 seconds left in the third and Trey Miller ran in the point after for a 24-16 Crossett lead.
Dumas reached the Eagle three on a 40-yard pass from Ryan Miller to Keondrick Spencer but turned the ball over on downs from the 10 three plays later, then got to the Crossett 20 before turning the ball over on an interception with 2:40 left to allow the Eagles to run out the clock.
In addition to dropping passes on what would likely have been touchdowns on two occasions, Bobcat defenders couldn’t hold on to three near interceptions, two of which could have resulted in returns for scores.