It was another extraordinary night at Hammons Stadium for Homecoming 2017 celebrated with the hometown Hope Bobcats hosting the De Queen Leopards to open 5A South Conference play.

It was another extraordinary night at Hammons Stadium for Homecoming 2017 celebrated with the hometown Hope Bobcats hosting the De Queen Leopards to open 5A South Conference play.

The Cats came out fierce for action, but the Leopards left Hammons Stadium victorious 40-14 to post their first win in Hope since moving into the 5A South Conference. Hope continues to search for their first win falling 0-1 in conference and 0-4 overall, as De Queen moves to 1-0 in conf., 2-2 overall.

The Bobcats got off to a good defensive start early to force the Leopards to punt on their series of drives at the 10:10 mark. Sophomore quarterback Hunter Hellums got his first start with a early spark to complete a pass reception to Keith Brown to move Hope into De Queen territory. But, a costly fumble by Hope and De Queen recovering got the Leopards back possession at the 9:06 mark.

De Queen's Rolando Sotelo picked up two first downs on the ground attack, then Hunter Earney scored from the 2-yard line for the touchdown with PAT good. At the 6:17 mark, De Queen struck first on the scoreboard to lead Hope, 7-0. On Hope's offensive drives, QB Hellums completed two key pass receptions to Nikorian Muldrew and Nate Carter to move the Cats' offense into De Queen territory, but later forced to punt and the Leopards regaining possession at the 3:31 mark. De Queen held possession for the remaining time left in the opening quarter and led Hope 7-0 to end first period play.

In the second, De Queen punched two touchdowns at the 8:35 mark for 3-yards and at the 4:29 mark for 40-yards with both PAT's good to lead Hope 21-0. De Queen's defense got a safety at the 1:51 on Hope to add two more points to their lead now 23-0. In the closing seconds of the first half, De Queen made a 38-yard field goal to lead Hope 26-0 at halftime.

In the second half, the Bobcats started off with the opening drive led by big kickoff return from Jaloni Davis to De Queen's 33-yard line. The Cats would fall short to convert on downs and forced to punt at the 10:19 mark. De Queen turned their offensive drives to their third trip into the end zone from a 18-yard TD run by Marquez Ester and PAT good at the 6:46 mark. De Queen now led Hope, 33-0.

Later, at the 4:20 mark, De Queen made their final end zone trip of the night on a 47-yard TD run by Ester and PAT good to put the Leopards ahead of Hope, 40-0. Now the sportsmanship rule went into effect for a continuous running clock for the remainder of the game.

The Bobcats didn't sit back and avoided a shutout with QB Hellums completing two key touchdowns pass receptions to Jerrell Henry for 20-yards at the 11:36 mark and Jaylon Conway for 58-yards at the 3:19 mark in the third quarter. Both PAT's good by Jonathan Garcia got Hope on the scoreboard, but trailed De Queen 40-14. In the fourth, neither team would score and De Queen capturing back to back season wins against Hope.

Next Friday, the Cats go on the road to Spa City for action to face the Hot Springs Trojans for conference play. Kickoff at 7 p.m. in Hot Springs.