SPORTS >> North Pulaski turns ball and game over to visiting Dumas
By JOHNNY RAY LAKE
Special to the Leader
An untimely fumble and a blocked punt, both deep in their own territory, led to two quick scoring strikes as the North Pulaski Falcons fell in their home opener to the Dumas Bobcats, 28-6. In a clash between two teams needing a win to get the season off to a good start, this game was highlighted with turnovers and penalties.
The Falcons started with an impressive 11-play drive that went 48 yards, but came up empty on a missed field goal. Three plays into their first drive, Bobcats quarterback Kendall Council took a keeper 54 yards down the left side, but fumbled at the 1-yard line. Facing 1st and 10 from their own 1, the Falcons got a couple of breaks from the Bobcats as two offside penalties gave the Falcons breathing room on their own 11. But three plays later, a costly fumble by running back Melvin Tenner gave the Bobcats a short field at the Falcons’ 15-yard line. On third and 10, Council made amends for his earlier fumble by scrambling 15 yards down the right side for the score.
On the ensuing drive, facing fourth and 5 from their own 44-yard line, Bracy McCoy blocked a Falcon punt that was recovered by Aaron Holt at the 26-yard line. Once again, with a short field, the Bobcats scored quickly as Jones ran it in from 5 yards out two plays later.
The Falcons then lost their third fumble of the game on the next play from scrimmage, but got it back with an interception at their own 10 yard line.
The Falcons moved the ball down to the Bobcats’ 38, and then tried to get something going by attempting a fake punt on 4th down, but it was unsuccessful. After an off-sides penalty moved the Bobcats back to their own 33 on the next play, Council hit Damian Anderson for a 34-yard pass down to the Falcons’ 33 yard line. On the next play, the Bobcats got down to the 10 yard line thanks to a late hit penalty against the Falcons. On the third play of this drive, Jones scored his second touchdown from 10 yards out.
With under a minute left in the first half, the Falcons showed heart when their defense forced a Bobcat punt and returned it to the Dumas 35. On first down, Brandon Hudson plowed his way 20 yards down to the Bobcat 15. Two plays later, Baker scored with 12 seconds left in the half to make it 21-6.
The third quarter would pick up where the first half left off, as once again both teams exchanged fumbles on the first two drives. Penalties by both teams ended drives going into the fourth quarter, where Dumas put the game away with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Council to Anderson with 3:38 left in the game.
Council finished the game leading all rushers with 102 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown. He also was 11 of 16 for 154 yards passing and a score.
Baker led the Falcons with 69 yards on 13 carries and a score. The Falcons were held to 12 yards passing, and lost four fumbles.