Sweet redemption was captured this past Friday night at Hammons Stadium by the ranked Hope Bobcats against Wynne in the quarterfinals of the class 5A state football playoffs.
Sweet redemption was captured this past Friday night at Hammons Stadium by the ranked Hope Bobcats against Wynne in the quarterfinals of the class 5A state football playoffs. The Bobcats seek revenge against the Yellowjackets 21-0 for a shutout victory and advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2000. Despite rainy and cold weather conditions, it didn't stop the impact the Cats have always brought to be dominant on Summit Bank Field or keep the Bobcat nation fans from packing Hammons Stadium to support their hometown team to a impressive victory. Wynne shutout the Cats in the quarterfinals 33-0 in 2005, but eight years later the Bobcats returned the favor to hold the Yellowjackets scoreless in their playoff rematch in 2013. Now just one win away is stationed in the Cats' path from returning back to War Memorial Stadium to play and capture the class 5A state title. Head coach Jay Turley was more than fired up on the sidelines, as he was proud of how hard his Cats came ready to play and pull out a major win over Wynne. The Cats shined once again on their powerful defensive unit, which proved Hope has the top defense in the state. The Yellowjackets sparked during their match-up for four first down drives in the opening quarter. But, the impact of the Cats' offense stood ground. The Cats received their first down drive from strong running attack by Aaron Smith busting through the Yellowjacket defense like NFL Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis at the 7:23 mark in the first quarter. Despite the Cats' forced to punt after falling short of the first down conversion on 4th down and 7, Wynne regain possession at the 5:42 mark. The Cats' defense stepped up to cause a crucial Wynne turnover as Bobcats' Javon Westmoreland soared for the interception for 43 yards at the 5:07 mark to the 2 yard line. This set up quarterback Nathan Stubber scoring into end zone at the 3:43 mark on the 2 yard touchdown run with PAT good by Tyler Means. Hope led Wynne 7-0 ending first quarter action. In the second quarter, the Cats' defense kept Wynne out the end zone or allowing any scoring opportunities. Bobcats' QB Stubber launched two first down pass receptions to receiver Kenneth “K.J.” Thompson. Then Bobcats' Channing Kight used his power and strength to soar into the end zone on a 47 yard touchdown run at the 2:22 mark and PAT good by Means to put the Cats up 14-0 at halftime. In the second half, the Cats scored their final touchdown on the opening kickoff in the third quarter by Westmoreland for 80 yards and PAT good by Means. Hope maintained control for a 21-0 lead from the 11:46 mark in the third and never trailed for the rest of the game. The Cats received huge sparks for first down drives by Stubber completing a pass to Thompson for the reception and Westmoreland on a running attack in the third quarter. In the fourth, Stubber broke down the Wynne' defense on a huge running drive for 53 yards. The Bobcat defense displayed monster hitting of tackling to stop the Yellowjackets in the second half by McTelvin Agim, Aaron Smith, Ty Voss, Keuntai Monk, Cortavious Brown, Marsaius Cheatham, David Cheatham, Jonathan Palmer and Westmoreland. Again, the Cats held off Wynne from scoring on four consecutive downs inside the red zone in the third. Brown picked up a key sack in the fourth quarter at the 8:53 mark for the final defensive impact for Hope. This Friday, the day after Thanksgiving the Bobcats are back to display their final performance for the last time of the season at Hammons Stadium. Hope will host the Morrilton Devil Dogs in the final four of the class 5A state semifinals match-up. The Devil Dogs knocked off the No. 1 ranked and undefeated Pulaski Academy Bruins last week. Morrilton is considered the top offensive threat in the state for class 5A. As the top offense - Morrilton and top defense - Hope collide, provides this semifinals' match-up a MUST SEE BATTLE and determine who's heading to War Memorial. The Cats will be ready for combat as they'll take their gridiron games to the next level to stop the Billies and continue the DREAM season of their quest to the state title. Friday's kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Hammons Stadium. Stats: Team Bobcats - 8 first downs, 5 0f 12 passing for 38 yards, 36 carries for 204 yards rushing, 242 total yards of offense Wynne - 15 first downs, 19 of 32 passing for 78 yards, 36 carries for 123 yards rushing, 201 total yards of offense Stats: Individual Bobcats: Nathan Stubber - 4 of 11 passing for 42 yards, 11 carries for 95 yards rushing and 1 touchdown; Channing Kight - 7 carries for 61 yards rushing and 1 touchdown; Javon Westmoreland - 14 carries for 35 yards rushing, 80 yard kickoff return for 1 touchdown; Aaron Smith - 2 carries for 12 yards rushing; Kenneth K.J. Thompson - 4 receptions for 42 yards; Tyler Means - 3 of 3 PAT's Stats: Defense Bobcats: Westmoreland - 13 tackles, 1 INT, 1 fumble recovery ; Ty Voss - 12 tackles; Agim - 9 tackles; Cortavious Brown - 7 tackles; Jonathan Palmer - 6 tackles; Davon Potts - 6 tackles; Marsaius Cheatham - 5 tackles; Josh Witherspoon - 2 tackles; David Cheatham - 3 tackles; Keuntai Monk - 2 tackles