Now with the non-conference schedule completed, the hometown Hope Bobcats return to football action this Friday night to open 5A South Conference play hosting the De Queen Leopards on Homecoming night at Hammons Stadium.

Now with the non-conference schedule completed, the hometown Hope Bobcats return to football action this Friday night to open 5A South Conference play hosting the De Queen Leopards on Homecoming night at Hammons Stadium.

The Bobcats are coming off three tough losses thus far against tough teams during their non-conference schedule for season 2017. The losses doesn't hurt the Cats chances to make the postseason, but they're looking to open the conference season with a big win to get the ball rolling and climb back into the win column.

This week's opponent of De Queen presents another tough team for the Bobcats. Last year, the Bobcats came out on the losing end to the Leopards 35-7, marking the first time De Queen had defeated Hope in over decades in football. The Leopards are 1-2 overall during their non-conference schedule and pulled off one of their trademark victories in their football program to knock off ranked Nashville Scrappers 49-42 this season.

Hope football head coach Jay Turley knows this time of the year is most important to be very sharp, focus and productive to be challenging to make the playoffs. The Cats came into this year looking to take that bad taste out of their mouth's from a winless season in 2016 and begin a new spark for their program. Last week, Turley wasn't pleased with the execution the Bobcats showcased against Prescott in the season home-opener. Now, with a week of practice Turley has move some players around and hope's this will have a better effect to pull off a win to defeat De Queen in their conference opener on Homecoming.

"De Queen has a new philosophy due to a new coach [Stephen Sloan] and it may give us fits. They have a running back that killed us last year and we have stressed this week about tackling better. We've moved some kids around for this week and I think our coaching staff had done a good job with our scheme to stop De Queen," Turley said.

"Offensively we have got to execute. We can miss assignments and must do a better job to be better mentally. We're not as bad as we've shown, hopefully the changes made this week will help and be a big change for us," Turley said.

The Bobcats didn't produce much offense last week which caused the defense to stay longer on the field. Turley needs the offensive unit to be more productive in execution and signs have shown well this week. The junior varsity Bobcats came away victorious against De Queen 16-12 on Monday night which brings some momentum going into Friday's 5A South Conference opener.

The Cats' defense racked up a team-high tackles last week with nearly 70 tackles against Prescott. In previous seasons, the Bobcats have turned their season around with winning their conference opener and the last time De Queen visited Hope, the Cats were victorious on Homecoming night 2015.

Turley knows this Friday will be a big night for the town due to Homecoming excitement. Turley hopes the impact of the crowd and the significance of the night will build up the spirits for the Bobcats to finish strong and keep De Queen from leaving Hammons Stadium with a win.

"We got Homecoming this week and I expect a big crowd. Just hope the kids come out focus with excitement to win," Turley said.

Pregame Homecoming ceremonies will begin at 6:20 p.m., followed by the kickoff at 7 p.m. at Hammons Stadium.

 

5A South Conference Standings

White Hall (3-0 overall)

Watson Chapel (1-2 overall)

Magnolia (1-2 overall)

De Queen (1-2 overall)

Camden Fairview (0-3 overall)

Hot Springs (0-3 overall)

Hope (0-3 overall)

HS Lakeside (0-3 overall)

 

 

2017 Friday Night Lights 5A Conference Week 4 Schedule September 22

De Queen at HOPE

Camden-Fairview at Hot Springs Lakeside

Hot Springs at Watson Chapel

Magnolia at White Hall