Davenport, ‘Dogs use fast start to wrangle Rebels

Published 11:08 pm Friday, October 13, 2017

If another installment of the Fast and the Furious movie franchise comes through the pipeline, expect to see Hampton’s Hunter Davenport gracing the big screen.
No stranger to going fast, senior running back tallied over 130 yards in the first half and scored three times in the first quarter to help the Bulldogs secure a 46-13 conference victory over South Greene Friday during Homecoming Night at J.C. Campbell Stadium.
With the victory, Hampton (2-6, 1-2) snapped a six-game losing streak and clinched the third seed for the upcoming Class 2A playoffs while South Greene falls to 3-6, 1-2 on the year.
Sparks have flashed throughout the year, and Friday night was the result of things coming together, according to Hampton head coach Michael Lunsford.
“We’ve been right there for several weeks now and we put it together tonight,” Lunsford said. “South Greene has a dang good football team. Coach (Jordy) Harrison does a great job with them. You can see the improvement with them since he’s taken over. I was just proud of the way our guys executed and handled Homecoming week. It can be so distracting for the boys, but they handled themselves well and showed a lot of maturity tonight.”
Davenport capped off the ‘Dogs opening 80-yard drive with a 56-yard score. After a quick South Greene turnover, the senior scatback needed just one play and rushed for a 40-yard touchdown.
After coming up with two scores before the 10-minute mark, Davenport (eight carries, 134 yards) wrapped up his touchdown barrage with a 9-yard plunge at the 2:57 mark. All scores were followed by two-point conversions, giving Hampton the 24-0 lead heading to the second.
Not going away quietly, South Greene responded with their own score with a five-yard scamper by junior Damien Starnes. The Rebels extra point was no good,  leaving the score 24-6 heading into halftime.
Looking to break open back-and-forth second quarter, Hampton responded in a big way in the third with Skyler Cole securing his second interception of the night, returning it 30 yards to the endzone.
Not to be outdone, following up his two-point runs, Jason Russell (14 carries, 108 yards) found paydirt at the 7:36 mark in the third quarter from a yard out. The senior signalcaller and running back helped orchestrate Hampton’s final score by connecting with Gavin Hardin on fourth down from 21 yards out.
The ‘Dogs will look to carry over their momentum into Thursday with a noncoference game against Unaka. Kickoff for the contest is set for 7:30 p.m. During halftime, Hampton’s Kaysi Royston was also named the 2017 Homecoming Queen, receiving the crown from last year’s queen, Hanna Julian.
For an in-depth look at Friday’s game, additional photos, comments and a look ahead and the rest of the season, be sure to pick up the next installment of Gridiron Weekly, available in the Tuesday print edition of the Elizabethton Star.

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