DEWITT – Dumas had almost half as many penalties as it did points in the Bobcats’ 8-4A Conference game with DeWitt Friday night.
Fortunately, the Bobcats scored 41 points in beating the Dragons 41-13 and ruining their Senior Night, so the 18 flags for 155 yards didn’t matter a lot in the end.
The win ended a three-game losing streak and kept Dumas, 2-6 overall, alive for a playoff berth with a 2-3 mark in 8-4A play, the same as DeWitt, which fell to 4-4.
Dumas has Monticello and Hamburg at home the next two weeks, while DeWitt plays at Star City and Monticello. With a win next week, the Bobcats would own tiebreakers over the Dragons and Billies, who – along with Crossett – are all technically alive for post-season berths.
The Bobcats went three and out on their first possession to open the game, but took the lead about a minute later when James Spinks picked off a pass and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown with 8:24 left in the quarter. Jairo Ramirez’s PAT try was wide.
DeWitt had reached the Dumas 33 on its second possession when Spinks stole another Dragon pass at the 10 and returned it to the 29. Keondrick Spencer made an over-the-shoulder catch of a pass from senior quarterback Matthew Miller for 61 yards after a holding call, the first of the 19 flags the officials threw against the Bobcats (one penalty was offset by a call against DeWitt), to set up Spinks’ one-handed catch of a Miller pass for a touchdown with 1:58 on the clock. Miller ran in the PAT to make it 14-0.
The Bobcats forced a punt to take over with 1:11 left in the opening quarter and moved from their 43 to score in seven plays, overcoming a holding penalty, with Brenston Neal running it in from the 13 with 9:34 remaining in the half. Ramirez kicked the PAT to make it 21-0.
The Dragons got back into the game with a 74-yard scoring run on their next possession to pull within 21-7 just 10 seconds later following the point-after, but Dumas quickly shut the door with two more scores.
The teams swapped punts before a 30 yard run by Neal set up an 11 yard touchdown run by R.J. Bailey with 2:29 left in the half, then a DeWitt gamble on fourth-and-three from the Dragon 44 cost the hosts dearly when an incomplete pass gave the Bobcats the ball with 1:03 on the clock.
An unsportsmanlike conduct call on third-and-five that also resulted in a DeWitt player’s ejection from the game put the ball at the 29 with 33 seconds left. One play after an 18 yard toss from Miller to Spinks with 10 seconds left, and yet another penalty, Miller found Spencer, who caught the ball as he slid out of the back of the end zone with :05 on the clock. The PAT gave the Bobcats a 35-7 lead.
DeWitt turned the ball over on a fumble three plays into the third period to give Dumas the ball at its 40 before a confusing series of penalties – including holding, a major facemask call in the backfield on a Dumas running play marked off as a spot foul and a false start – left the Bobcats facing first-and-54 from their six yard line. The Bobcats ended up punting from to 18, then the Dumas defense got the ball back twice with quarterback sacks totaling 23 yards on fourth down plays by DeWitt from the Bobcat 38 and 45.
Dumas also gave the ball over on downs on its next two possessions, then held DeWitt with a 10 yard loss on fourth-and-10 from the Dragon 32 to take over at the 21.
Miller connected with Spinks, Dev Buchanan and Spencer on pass plays, the latter an 18 yard scoring toss to make it 41-7 with 8:20 left in the game, overcoming yet another holding penalty along the way. A low snap foiled the PAT try and allowed the Dragons to escape the AAA sportsmanship rule.
DeWitt scored against a defense that included mostly reserves with 6:42 remaining to pull within 41-13.
The Bobcats – despite another six penalties for 45 yards – started at their 38 and used the rest of the clock driving to the DeWitt 27 as time expired.
Miller was 17-of-23 for 195 yards in the air for Dumas.