Hampton opens 2-A playoff with win over Cumberland Gap

Published 1:01 am Saturday, November 9, 2019

An upset loss in 2018 fired up the Hampton Bulldogs in the first round of the TSSAA 2A playoff this season.
Senior running back Isaiah Greenwell rushed for 102 yards – with all of it coming in the first half – as Hampton crushed Cumberland Gap 50-0 on Friday night at J.C. Campbell Stadium.
The second half was played with a full running clock as the ‘Dogs led 37-0 at the break.
Senior fullback Caleb Oaks scored on a 33 yard run the first time he touched the football and also lugged in the deuce for an 8-0 Bulldogs lead at the 11:45 mark.
After forcing a Panthers punt, Oaks scored on a seven-yard blast to cap a short three-play drive for a 16-0 lead after a Jones to Hayden Birchfield two-point pass.
“It means a ton to these seniors and it means a ton to me to be able to see these guys get this win,” Bulldogs head coach Michael Lunsford said.
“These guys just come to play and practice every day and want to get better and they have shown tons of improvement. I’m so proud of every one of these kids. We don’t have no superstars, just a bunch of really good football players.”
The ‘Dogs continued to put the pedal to the metal with senior tailback Matt Hughes capping an eight-play, 52-yard drive for a 24-0 Hampton lead after Oaks connected with Hughes on a jump pass for the deuce.
Sophomore quarterback Conor Jones heated up in the second period hitting Oaks on a 25-yard scoring pass but the pass for two failed and the ‘Dogs led 30-0.
With eight seconds left in the half Jones connected with older brother Jonah Jones on a 12-yard scoring strike. Michael Harrison added the point-after kick.
Hampton (9-2 overall) got a touchdown run from Macon Barden in the third period after Aiden Vines ripped off a 53 yard run on a quick hitter up the middle that caught Cumberland Gap’s defense by surprise.
Barden’s six-yard run made it a 43-0 contest and the Panthers simply had no answer for the power run game of the Bulldogs.
“You get in these cold-weather games and you have to be able to pound the ball,” Lunsford said. “You can’t count on throwing it a bunch of times, so you get behind the big uglies upfront and they really don’t get enough credit for what they do, but you couldn’t do it without them.”
The ‘Dogs wrapped up the scoring with a one-yard run from Vines that capped a six-play, 44-yard drive.
In all Hampton held Cumberland Gap to just 37 yards of total offense and the Panthers were minus 24 yards rushing. Quarterback Caden Brunsma was 8-for-24 passing for 61 yards including a late 27-yard pass on the last play of the game.
Hampton rushed for 344 yards with Oaks and Vines each having 57 ground yards and Barden finished with 53 rushing yards. Jones completed five-of-seven passes for 92 yards and two touchdowns.
Hampton will host Oneida (7-4) in round two of the playoffs as the Indians took down Sullivan North 35-0.
TSSAA 2-A First Round Football Playoff
Hampton, 50-0
Cumberland Gap   0   0  0  0 –  0
Hampton              24 13  6  7 – 50
Scoring Summary
First Quarter
H – Oaks 33 run (Oaks run) 11:25
H – Oaks 7 run (Jones pass to Birchfield) 7:07
H – Hughes 2 run (Oaks pass to Hughes) 2:22
Second Quarter
H – Oaks 25 pass from Jones (pass failed) 3:49
H – J. Jones 12 pass from Jones (Harrison kick) :08
Third Quarter
H – Barden 6 run (run failed) 5:32
Fourth Quarter
H – Vines 1 run (Harrison kick) 9:34

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