Jr. ‘Dogs break loose… Hampton runs wild in a 30-8 win over Jr. ‘Landers

Published 6:00 am Monday, August 19, 2019

HAMPTON- Coach Alex Payne of the Hampton Middle School Jr. Bulldogs would be the first to tell someone that the unknown of what to expect from the visiting Cloudland Jr. Highlanders were of enough concern to change up his defensive game plan.
After seeing how the Jr. Highlanders ran the ball in Tuesday evening’s middle school jamboree at Unaka, Payne added an additional down lineman on defense and the move paid off huge as the host Jr. ‘Dogs took a 30-8 win in the first official game of the season for both teams.
Thanks to the running of Dominque Burleson and Dylan Trivette, the Jr. ‘Dogs built a 30-0 halftime lead and let the defense take over in the second half.
Burleson opened up the scoring in the first quarter with a 35-yard run to the end zone and then converted the two-point conversion to stake Hampton to an 8-0 lead.
Trivette tacked on a second first-quarter score as the horn sounded to end the period from 40 yards away with the conversion failing to give the Jr. ‘Dogs the 14-0 edge after one quarter of football.
Burleson racked up his second score of the contest with 4:24 before intermission after breaking to the sideline and outrunning the Cloudland secondary on a 43-yard scoring scamper.
Trivette kept the ball on a sneak for the two-point conversion and Hampton was in command at 22-0.
Hampton would add one more score before the half as this time Trivette would do the honors by keeping the football and racing down the sideline on a 55-yard gallop with 1:06 showing on the clock before the half.
Elijah Swicegood converted the two-point conversion to give Hampton their 30 points which stood for the remainder of the game. The Jr. Highlanders did add a score on a defensive turnover and recovery in the end zone with 5:16 left to play to avoid the shutout.
The two-point conversion was good giving the game it’s final score of 30-8.
As good as Burleson and Trivette were on offense, Will Thornton, Delaney Patterson, and Shayden Oliver were as equal to the task on the defensive line stopping the Cloudland running game dead in it’s tracks the entire contest.
“I was obviously worried about it because Cloudland has good kids and I was concerned about the effort it would take to stop them,” said Payne. “I am happy with the win but it’s going to continue to get tougher every week.
“We are blessed to have two kids with the ability of Trivette and Burleson, but I was extremely proud of the way those people we had upfront.
“Coach Todd Hill had a great offensive game plan tonight. I was really happy we got all of our kids in including our 6th and 7th graders. I am just happy with the whole team.”
**A special shout out to all the Cloudland fans that stayed loud throughout the entire contest in supporting a team taking the field for the first time in two years.

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