Hampton takes bite out of Jr. ‘Landers, 36-8

Published 10:49 pm Thursday, September 8, 2016


Star Photo/Ivan Sanders Hampton Middle quarterback Garrett Vines looks for an open running lane during Thursday night’s contest in Roan Mountain. Vines had a huge night for the Jr. Bulldogs.

The Cloudland Middle School Jr. Highlanders didn’t realize how much frustration the Hampton Middle School Jr. Bulldogs were carrying after last week’s deflating loss to Chuckey-Doak.

The Jr. ‘Dogs weren’t about to take another lick to the chops this week either as Hampton came out strong in the opening half to build a sizeable 30-0 lead and cruised over the home standing Jr. ‘Landers 36-8.

“We were very effective tonight offensively and Coach (Jason) Hill called a great offensive game,” said Hampton Middle head coach Alex Payne. “It all comes back to the fact our line didn’t play very well last week against Chuckey-Doak, and they responded to the challenge tonight.

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“I am proud of those kids on the line stepping up and playing with a lot better technique and intensity tonight.”

After a fruitless opening drive, the Jr. Bulldogs finally got rolling after a defensive stand gave the football back to Hampton at midfield.

On the first play from scrimmage, Jr. Dog quarterback Garrett Vines found a seam near the Hampton sideline and took off for the end zone to give Hampton an 8-0 lead, after Vines connected with Avery Hill on the two-point conversion.

Forcing the Jr. ‘Landers into a three and out, Hampton was back in business at the CMS 44-yard line.

It would take only three plays as Ramsey Greenwell legged out all 44 yards on the drive in three carries with the final one covering 20-yards to pay dirt.

Nate Wilson’s two-point conversion was good and the Jr. ‘Dogs led 16-0 as the first quarter came to an end.

Cloudland battled but just couldn’t get the ball moving as the Jr. ‘Dog defense was shutting down everything the Jr. ‘Landers were trying to accomplish.

Payne’s squad would put together a nice 10-play drive clinching another score when Vines covered the final five yards for the score.

Vines showed his ability to manage the drive connecting on two beautiful pass plays with Hill hauling in a 14-yard reception and Conor Jones laying out full flight to snare a 17-yard completion at the Jr. ‘Lander six-yard line.

TJ Guinn completed the two-point conversion for the 24-0 lead with 1:26 left to play in the half.

On the ensuing kick, Guinn gobbled up the loose ball to give Hampton possession yet again at the Cloudland 40-yard line.

Hampton managed the game clock to perfection as Vines would quarterback sneak to record his third rushing touchdown of the half leaving only two seconds on the game clock before halftime.

The conversion failed and Hampton went to the locker room up 30-0.

The Jr. ‘Dogs tacked on their final score after getting the ball back from Cloudland who had received the second half kickoff.

It was another one-play drive as Greenwell registered his second score on 35-yard gallop with 5:49 showing on the third-quarter clock.

The two-point conversion was no good and the scoreboard read 36-0.

Cloudland showed a never-quit mentality and finally got onto the board behind the bullish running of Jr. ‘Lander running back Elijah Blair.

Blair burst out of the Jr. ‘Lander backfield and rumbled 26 yards to the score with 5:16 left to play. The two-point conversion failed and the updated scoreboard showed 36-6.

The Jr. ‘Lander defense recorded a safety late in the game for the final margin of 36-8.

Payne was, needless to say, pleased with his team’s effort and pointed out several standouts.

“Garrett (Vines) had an excellent performance tonight after taking several hard knocks the last two weeks,” added Payne. “I was really proud of him for managing the game well and making something out of the busted plays.

“I am also proud of all our backs—Aiden Vines, RD Ward, Nate Wilson, and Ramsey Greenwell for stepping up and running hard. Plus, I thought that our line including Gavin Brochu, Caleb McKinney, McKinley Kun, Andon Hughes, and Hunter Peters all played really, really well.”