They Came, they Saw, they Conquered… Bulldogs flatten Longhorns, 33-0
BY NIC MILLER
Mountain City- It was a gloomy night filled with rain Friday as the Hampton Bulldogs made the long trip to Mountain City to take on the Longhorns of Johnson County.
It was the Bulldogs who would start on offense, but penalty flags along with the night’s weather conditions gave them a slow start to the drive.
But Hampton was eventually able to put things in motion, and after driving into enemy territory, Aiden Vines took off down the left side of the field for a thirty-five-yard rushing touchdown. Michael Harrison split the uprights on the point after, giving the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead in the first.
It was now the Longhorns chance to take over and answer back on their first drive, but the stout Hampton defense would force a three and out and give the visitors another shot at a score.
After not being able to get much to start the drive, a costly roughing the passer penalty against the Longhorns would give the Bulldogs a new life at the midfield stripe.
And while Hampton would make it to the edge of the red zone, the Bulldogs would be stopped just short on third down, leaving Harrison to kick a twenty-yard field goal and give his team a 10-0 lead halfway through the second quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff, Johnson County would return the ball to midfield where a fumble occurred and would be recovered by Geno Carrico, giving the Bulldogs another possession in Longhorn territory.
But it became a stalemate for the rest of the half as the Bulldogs would head to the locker room with a 10-0 lead over the Longhorns.
The Bulldog defense came out in the second half fired up as a Longhorn pass would be intercepted by Jonathan Greenwell and taken back thirty-five yards for a Hampton touchdown, giving the visitors a 17-0 lead early in the third.
After another quick three and out by the Longhorns, the Bulldogs would take over yet again, where quarterback Conor Jones would call his own number, dashing down the field for a fifty-nine-yard touchdown followed by Harrison’s extra point as Hampton would increase their lead to a 24-0 line.
Halfway through the third quarter, the Longhorns were finally able to get a drive going down the field, a drive that would end with an impressive goal-line stand by the Bulldog defensive line on the three-yard line.
After another interception by the Bulldog defense, this time by Jones at their own forty-five, Levi Lunsford would take the ball forty yards down to the fifteen where Jones would scamper into the end zone again, giving the visitors a 31-0 lead in the fourth.
And just a few minutes before the clock hit zero, the Bulldogs put the nail in the coffin with a safety to increase the lead, 33-0.
The final minutes of the game was quiet, as the Bulldogs were able to run the clock out and maintain the shutout, 33-0.
Bulldogs head coach Michael Lunsford spoke on his team’s performance on both sides of the ball, saying, “On defense, we shut them out and had a great goal-line stand in the third.
“We’ve got a lot of guys on that side of the ball, we’re always rotating. Our big guys just wear the other team out and I’m sure it takes a toll on the other guys.”
His team also had a great night on offense.
Lunsford said, “We executed on situations very well in the second half. Our running backs ran a lot better tonight than they did against Cloudland, they followed their blocks very well.
“In normal conditions, Conor (Jones) is gonna throw a lot more, but he did very well adapting to the conditions and using his feet.”
The ‘Dogs will be back at home next Friday night against Sullivan North in a region contest.
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