Bulldogs blow past Vikings in season opener

Published 11:32 pm Friday, August 21, 2015

by Bryce Phillips

Star Staff


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The Hampton High School Bulldogs came unchained Friday night as they topped the Avery County Vikings 54-17 at McDonald Stadium for the first game of the 2015 season.

Junior running back Adam McClain led the dog pack as he rushed for 161 yards (15 carries) and recorded four touchdowns for Hampton. Also doing some hard work for the Bulldogs was Jerry Lunsford, who tacked on 162 rushing yards (9 carriers) for Hampton and three touchdowns. Overall, the ’Dogs had 607 yards of total offense —  457 yards rushing and 150 yards receiving. Senior quarterback Coby Jones connected for 150 yards passing on nine passes, while Lunsford was the most efficient target, pulling in 105 of receiving.

“We played really hard,” Hampton head coach Mike Lunsford said. “The offensive line really led the way.  We threw the ball when we needed to, and when we did, we completed them.”

Posting six TDs in the first half, the Bulldogs did not take long to find the end zone, posting their first touchdown 1:36 into the game as McClain scrambled in from four yards out on a first down. Kicker Jason Russell chipped one in for the extra point, putting the ’Dogs up 7-0.

After the Hampton defense quickly forced Avery to punt, the Bulldogs sat up shop on their own 38, where Jones found Lunsford on a first and ten for an 11-yard pass putting Hampton at 50. It would be two more plays until McClain posted another TD, rushing 45 yards to the paint. With the extra point no good, the ’Dogs were up 13-0 in the first quarter.

Once again Avery had a hard time getting started in first quarter, turning over the ball on downs, putting the Bulldogs on the Vikings’ 39. Again the Bulldogs’ did not waste a possession, getting in the end zone in nine plays as McClain posted a 29-yard TD — his third for the night. With the two-point conversion no good, the Dogs were up 19-0 in the first.

McClain, who was out for most of last season due to an injury, was a powerhouse in the first half. The running back rushed for 161 yards on 15 runs, while putting up four touchdowns. McClain was happy to be back on the field, to say the least.

“It feels really good,” McClain said. “We came out here and played really hard today. We knew that they were going to be pretty tough. We just came out and started clicking first thing. This is a good start for our season, and I am looking forward to the rest of it.”

In the second quarter the Bulldogs posted three more, the first of which was a result of McClain plowing in from two yards.

The Vikings finally found the board after a sixteen-play possession, with Christian Hick pushing in from 18 out. With the extra point, Avery closed the gap to 27-7.

The ’Dogs did it again on their next possession, during which they moved the ball from their own 30 to Avery’s eight-yard line in six plays. From the eight, Lunsford sped in for a Hampton touchdown and his first of the night, with the two-point conversion completed the Dogs were up 35-7 in the second.

The Vikings found the board again with kicker Steven Sanchez booting one in from 23 yards out, moving the score to 35-10.

The Bulldogs’ scored one more time in the first half with Jones connecting with Lunsford for a 34-yard passing TD. At the end of the first half, Jones had 150 yards passing on nine passes.

In the second half, the Bulldogs were able to put up two more touchdowns.

After recovering an onside kick on the 50-yard line, Lunsford rushed in from 50 out on the first play of the drive for a Hampton touchdown. With the field goal good, Hampton moved to 48-10.

The Hampton defense forced Avery County to punt on their next drive, setting the ’Dogs up on their six-yard line. However, Hampton’s Hunter Davenport dazzled the fans with a 94-yard TD run on the next play, taking the Bulldogs to 54-10. Davenport finished the night with 105 yards rushing on four carries.

Avery scored the last TD of the game, finishing up the night with 221 total yards of offense.

As Lunsford expected, the Vikings utilized the passing game, which the Bulldogs were able to stop. Avery’s QB Luke Crowe connected 12 passes on 28 attempts for 111 yards of passing.

“We knew that they were going to throw the ball,” Lunsford said. “We knew this was a game for a different type of kids. We had to play smaller people in the line on defense. We got to play a lot of kids, which was good.”

Next up for Hampton will be a home match against Johnson County next Friday.