Bulldogs slip by persistent Warriors, 43-26

Published 9:23 am Monday, October 5, 2015

Star Photo/Collin Brooks Hampton's Coby Jones fires off a pass during Friday night's game at Happy Valley High School.

Star Photo/Collin Brooks
Hampton’s Coby Jones fires off a pass during Friday night’s game at Happy Valley High School.

The Hampton Bulldogs faced their stiffest competition of the season, but they still came out with a smooth 43-26 win over Happy Valley on Friday night on Warrior Hill.
The Bulldogs used a gritty ground and pound game, only putting the ball in the air 11 times to claim the victory. Hampton relied on the legs of Jerry Lunsford and Adam McClain, who carried the ball 17 times and 18 times, respectively, each finishing the night with 134 yards and 3 touchdowns a piece.
“We had a really good power game and the line blocked well,” McClain said. “When you have a big line and big fullbacks like that, it just opens up the holes and you’re allowed to run down the field.”
Hampton coach Mike Lunsford was proud of his team’s effort after the ball game, but was impressed with the physical style that his backs delivered.
“They are going to take you on,” Lunsford said. “They’re tough. They spent their time in the weight room. They’re going to punish the defense a lot.”
Even with the loss, the Warriors were a late touchdown away from holding Hampton to their lowest point total of the season, and came within 10 points after an Austin Hicks touchdown with with 1:35 left to make the score 36-26.
But two personal foul penalties after the onside kick set the Bulldogs up with short yardage and they took advantage.
“Hampton is a good football team. They are physical, they played power football right there and that gave us a little trouble,” Happy Valley coach Jason Jarrett said. “Our kids absolutely played their tails off tonight. I couldn’t have asked for anything else. They didn’t quit and they had the Warrior mentality. They’re hurting right now.”
The Warriors were led by quarterback Sage Haun, who went 8 for 10 with 189 yards through the air and a touchdown. Senior Josh Hammonds hauled in two of those passes for 82 yards, while Sam Blevins caught three balls for 75 yards and a touchdown.
On the ground, the Warriors were led by Dylan Street who rushed the ball six times for 81 yards. Austin Hicks carried the ball eight times for 40 yards and had two touchdowns.
Hicks found paydirt from the one-yard line for the Warriors first score of the night with 5:28 left in the first quarter. That answered a McClain touchdown from the same distance, just two minutes before. However, a missed extra point by the Warriors allowed Hampton to keep the 7-6 advantage.
Hampton was able to find the end zone again in the first quarter when Lunsford rushed the ball from 5 yards out to make the score 15-6. The Bulldogs found the end zone once more in the second quarter. With just over two minutes left, Adam McClain rushed in from 9 yards out to make the score 21-6 before halftime.
Happy Valley scored the first touchdown of the second half when Dylan Street scored from 10 yards out – the only score of the third quarter.
The two teams combined for 36 points in the fourth quarter, with the longest coming on a 45-yard reception from Haun to Blevins with4:43 left in the fourth.
While the Warriors had plenty of stops, they were unable to get the Bulldogs off the field, as Hampton went 9 of 13 on third down and 2 of 3 on fourth downs to continue their drives.
The win preserves the Bulldogs’ undefeated record in conference play and sets up a matchup with undefeated Sullivan North next week at home. Happy Valley will look to bounce back when they host North Greene (2-4), coached by former Happy Valley coach Scotty Verran.

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