Bulldogs surge past Trinity

Published 11:16 pm Friday, August 18, 2017

By Jonathan Pleasant

The Hampton Bulldogs opened up the season with a bang, taking over Don Martin Field in Kingsport to dominate the Trinity Academy Knights on their own turf, 42-0, Friday night.

A young program just starting its third season, the Knights fought hard down to the last minute of the game, but could never gain ground against the veteran leadership of players like quarterback Jason Russell and running back Hunter Davenport. Combined with an admirable showing from Hampton’s relatively young defensive line, the Bulldogs were able walk away without a single Trinity touchdown.

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Winning the toss and opting to receive, the Bulldogs took the initiative from the outset with a couple of timely pass plays and were well within range of the end zone just a few minutes into the game. The Knights were able to put up some pressure around the nine-minute mark, taking Hampton to a fourth down with one yard to go, but with Russell on the carry the Bulldogs were once again up and on the move. A pass to Skyler Cole sealed the deal, and despite a missed kick, the Bulldogs got on the board at 6-0.

Almost immediately, Trinity faced the first of several turnovers that plagued them throughout the night, and with four minutes left, Hampton had used a two-point conversion to regain the ground lost on the earlier field goal to move ahead 14-0. As the gap continued to widen, the Knights’ luck turned steadily worse with a string of costly penalties and bad plays. Starting off the second quarter with a 15-yard pass interference call, Trinity was faced with yet another Bulldog touchdown as a pass to Sophomore Gage Chambers put Hampton in position for a second catch in the end zone.

Chambers continued to play a critical role throughout the night, landing yet another huge touchdown catch two minutes before the half. Even then there was still enough time for the Bulldogs to take advantage of a fumbled return to run the ball in one more time, with the added bonus of a two point conversion to close out the half 35-0.

Trinity came back in the third determined to make a dent in the lead, but could never gain ground against Hampton’s defense. Unfortunately for Knights fans, the Bulldogs were able to pull off several critical sacks and turnovers continued to be a problem throughout the remainder of the game. However, despite one additional touchdown at the beginning of the third quarter, Trinity’s defense was able to start slowing the Bulldogs offense down late in the game.

In the end, Trinity’s efforts proved to be too little, too late and by the time the clock had wore down to its final seconds the Bulldogs were able to officially start their season off with a huge victory.