Road to the BlueCross Bowl… Hampton falls to Oneida in 2-A playoffs, 14-12

Published 12:58 am Saturday, November 16, 2019

A touchdown that didn’t become a fourth down play that shouldn’t have occurred as Hampton fell to Oneida 14-12 in round two of the TSSAA 2-A BlueCross Bowl football playoffs.
Sophomore quarterback Conor Jones found brother Jonah down the home sideline from the 49-yard line for what looked like a touchdown but a block in the back call put the ball at the 28-yard line.
Three incompletions later came the fourth down play and Oneida safety Jakob Hamilton picked off Jones pass with 1:15 remaining in the contest.
“It was just read and react,” Hamilton said. “We knew we had to step up on defense because our offense hadn’t been able to keep drives going. All night coach told us it was on the defense to hold the lead and we did.”
It isn’t the number of plays you run but what you do with them that counts.
Hampton ran 36 first-half plays from scrimmage to 12 for Oneida but trailed 14-6 as the Indians had two big scoring plays of 63 and 32 yards.
Hampton drove the ball crisply on its first possession using the power-I moving 59 yards on 14 plays with sophomore quarterback Conor Jones scampering in from a yard out for a 6-0 Bulldogs lead.
Oneida (8-4 overall) scored on its second play from scrimmage on an end-around from Trace Sexton who raced up the visiting sideline 63 yards for a 7-6 Indians lead after the point after kick from Rhemci Chitwood.
A Hampton fumble on its third possession gave Oneida the ball at the Bulldogs 33 yard line. On second down junior tailback Kolby Morgan broke through and raced 32 yards to paydirt and Chitwood’s kick made it 14-6.
That lead held through the rest of the first half with Oneida out gaining Hampton 122-120 in total offense in the first half.
The Tribe had all their yards on the ground while Hampton gained 16 pass yards on 2-for-3 completions from Jones.
The ‘Dogs (9-3 overall) scored in the third period – after Jones was sacked on first down – he found Gage Chambers for 28 yards and a first down.
Jones capped the 12-play drive with a one-yard touchdown run, his second of the contest to make it a 14-12 game.
“We had so many opportunities where we got first downs but had penalties when we had something going,” Bulldogs head coach Michael Lunsford said.
“It forced us to do things we didn’t really want to do and I thought our kids responded really well. They persevered and made enough plays to win.
“We get the touchdown in the final minutes and it gets called back but that’s just part of it. Ain’t nothing you can do about it.”
After the interception, Oneida was able to run the clock out for the win.
For Oneida, Morgan rushed for 68 yards on 19 carries but Jones led all rushers with 80 yards and completed 7-for-14 passes for 110 yards.
“The growth of Conor from the beginning of the season to now is completely different,” Lunsford said. “He is as good a quarterback as I have coached this season.
“This group of seniors is special to me. It is the first group I had as freshmen when I took over and they will always be special to me. The way they overcame adversity is to be admired.”
Road to the BlueCross Bowl
TSSAA 2A Playoff
Oneida 14-12
Oneida    7 7 0 0 – 14
Hampton 6 0 6 0 – 12
Scoring summary
First Quarter
H – C. Jones 1 run ( run failed) 4:40
O – Sexton 63 run (Chitwood kick) 4:25
Second Quarter
O – Morgan 32 run (Chitwood kick) 9:48
Third Quarter
H – C. Jones 1 run (pass failed) :57

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