STAR CITY – The Dumas Bobcats outplayed Star City for a half Friday night, but a combination of Bobcat errors, penalties and disputed calls paved the way for the Bulldogs to win their homecoming game, 37-14, evening their 8-4A Conference mark and staying alive for a playoff berth.
Dumas (1-6 overall, 1-3) travels to DeWitt this week while Star City (4-3 overall, 2-2) visits Lake Village.
Dumas fumbled on the game’s opening possession and the teams traded punts before Star City took a 7-0 lead on a 7-yard run by Dajunn Harris and PAT by Eric Estaban with 3:07 left in the opening period.
The Bobcats pulled within 7-6 on an 84-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ryan Miller to Keondrick Spencer with 1:20 on the clock. The PAT kick try was blocked. Dumas took the lead on a 36-yard scoring pass from Miller to James Spinks with 5:46 remaining in the half. Lamar Hemphill added the PAT for a 14-7 Bobcat lead.
Star City tied the score on a 16-yard run by Harris and PAT by Estaban with 3:45 left before the half. Austin Smith set up the score with a kickoff return to near midfield after Dumas had moved ahead.
Dumas had taken over at the Bulldog 43 on its previous possession after an interception by Dev Buchanan but turned the ball over on downs at the 37. The Bobcats again gave the ball over at the Bulldog 34 seconds before halftime, wasting another scoring chance.
Things fell apart quickly for Dumas in the second half. A reverse play caught the entire Dumas defense flat-footed and Toney Matthews raced 60-yards on the second play of the third period for a touchdown to put the hosts on top 21-14 after the PAT with 11:02 on the clock.
On their next possession, the Bobcats gave up a safety when punter Ryan Miller had to leave the game for a play and placekicker Jairo Ramirez was tackled in the end zone trying to punt on fourth-and-28 after a sack and holding penalty moved the ball from the 33 to the 15. That put Star City ahead 23-14, then the free kick was returned from the 40 to the Dumas 28 and L.J. Shelton scored untouched from the five three plays later. The PAT put the Bulldogs on top by 30-14.
Down two scores, Dumas appeared to have cut into the lead when Dev Buchanan returned what appeared to be a Bulldog fumble 55 yards for a touchdown, but the officials ruled the runner was down and Star City retained possession with a loss of six yards.
The teams traded punts before Spinks intercepted Bulldog quarterback Tye Brown for the second time and Dumas drove from its 20 to inside the Bulldog one two minutes into the final period before Harris intercepted Miller’s pass on third and two at his goal line and raced 100 yards to score with 10:13 left. The PAT gave Star City a 37-14 lead and Dumas was flagged for a facemask penalty in the confusion after the touchdown that included a brief skirmish between players on both teams.
Dumas went three and out, then Star City was flagged for a personal foul, illegal blocking and unsportsmanlike conduct before punting from its 31 after starting at the 44 and at one point being penalized back to the 13.
The Bobcats started their last drive at the Dumas 33 and used a 38 yard run by Hemphill to drive to the Bulldog one, where Hemphill’s fumble was recovered by Cody Hampton to allow Star City to run the last 2:58 off the clock.