Jones leads Hampton to victory over Cloudland 42-6

Published 1:28 am Saturday, October 12, 2019



ROAN MOUNTAIN – It is very hard to defeat the same team twice in the same season, but the Hampton Bulldogs made it look easy on Friday night at Orr Field against a tough Cloudland Highlanders team.

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Hampton was playing the Highlanders for the second time this season having defeated Cloudland 46-0 earlier this year. Unfortunately for Cloudland, the results would be the same as Hampton took a 42-6 victory.   

The fireworks started in the first quarter when Hampton took the initial drive of the game and marched it down the field to pay dirt giving the Bulldogs a 6-0 lead. During their scoring drive, they had to overcome several offensive penalties and convert a fourth down.

This would be a theme of the night.

The second quarter saw Cloudland take control of the ball and the offense. Hunter Shell connected on several passes including a 10-yard dart to Wyatt Julian and an 11-yard connection to Hunter Blair. Cloudland could not get any points for their effort and were forced to punt.

After Hampton took over on downs with several minutes left on the clock until halftime, they walked out of their huddle with a purpose.

Every team has one player that the team turns to when they must have a score and for Hampton that player is Conor Jones. The next Hampton drive became the first installment of the Conor Jones Show.

Jones connected with his legs as well as his arm to drive the Hampton Bulldogs down the field. Finally, he took the ball at the 12-yard line and did not stop until he had found the endzone.

After a pass from Jones to Caleb Oakes for the two-point conversion, the score became 14-0.

Hampton’s only mistake on this drive was leaving too much time on the clock until half.

Shell connected to Tristain Lacey for 17 yards then moved on up to the 46 on a Hampton penalty. Hunter Shell then took the ball and ran, dragging Hampton defenders up the field for a 23-yard gain.

Another Hampton holding call gave the Highlanders a first and ten on the 11. Then disaster struck and Shell threw a ball that was intercepted by Hampton and the Bulldogs knew they were lucky to go into the half up by 14.

The third quarter was more of the Conor Jones Show. After Gage Chambers intercepted a Shell pass, the Bulldogs took over on downs with a short field.  

After converting another fourth down, Hampton’s Jones passed for three yards to an open Chambers in the end zone for six.  Chambers then caught the 2-point conversion and the score stood at 22-0 Hampton.

For the next several minutes, each team could not move the ball and showed the tough defense they both have. Then with three minutes left in the third, Shell connected with Gage Mckinney for a 57-yard pass play, giving Cloudland their first score of the game.

The point after failed and the score remained 22-6.

Hampton took over on downs at the start of the fourth quarter and pushed the ball down the field with hard running and good blocking. Though they had to overcome offensive penalties and the tough Cloudland defense, they finally found the end zone once again with a 23-yard pass play from Conor Jones to Hunter Jones.

Conor Jones ran the ball in himself for the extra points and the score stood at 30-6.

Jones was not finished yet.

Jones intercepted a Shell pass deep in Cloudland territory. Three plays later Jones ran the ball in for another Hampton score and put the game out of reach at 36-6.

Later in the fourth quarter, Jones connected for his fifth touchdown of the night, this time to Jonah Jones.

The bulldogs had run the score to 42-6 and taken a victory over their cross-county rival. Hampton had found their fifth victory of the year, and their record now stands at 5-2 (1-1). Cloudland’s loss puts them at 2-4 (2-0).

Cloudland’s coach Scott Potter was very disappointed in the team’s turnovers.

“I am very pleased with the boy’s effort, but turnovers killed us. We have to learn how to protect the ball,” said Coach Potter after the game.

Hampton’s coach Michael Lunsford was very proud of his team.

“This Cloudland team has really improved, but I am very proud of how our team kept fighting. We had to overcome penalties, and we just kept stepping up and fighting and that means a lot.”

Cloudland plays at home next week against Region I foe Jellico. Hampton plays South Greene at home. Both games start at 7:30.