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Hampton takes lightning shortened victory over UC

BY ALLEN LAMOUNTAIN
STAR CORRESPONDENT
Despite a first play fumble, the Hampton Bulldogs took command rushing for 307 yards with junior quarterback Conor Jones rushing for 128 yards and two touchdowns as Hampton defeated Unicoi County 32-7 on Friday night at J.C. Campbell Stadium.
“I feel like we have got nine kids that can play on our offensive line,” Bulldogs head coach Michael Lunsford said. “For a 2A school that’s a lot of kids and I think our depth is one of our biggest assets. Conor, Morgan (Lyons), and Aiden Vines are all great runners and we are asking a lot out of those guys.”
A first play fumble by senior Vines saw the Blue Devils with an early opportunity at the Bulldogs 33-yard line. Hampton’s defense forced a three and out however and the ‘Dogs took over at the 20-yard line.
Hampton (1-0) went on a 12-play, 80-yard touchdown drive with junior Lyons scoring from four yards out and Jones connected with Lyons on the two-point conversion for an 8-0 Bulldogs lead.
On the Devil’s next possession a sack of junior quarterback Bryson Peterson by R.D. Ward set up the ‘Dogs next play which went for a safety after the ball was snapped over Peterson’s head. The play made it a 10-0 Hampton advantage.
The Devils maintained a nice drive to the Hampton three-yard line before freshman Dylan Trivette intercepted a Peterson end zone pass. Taking over at the 20-yard line Jones capped another 80-yard drive with a 35-yard run and he finished by running in the deuce as Hampton now led 18-0.
“Dylan is a special athlete,” Lunsford said. “I think as the season goes on he will get better and better.  I’m proud of the way we played defense tonight but their quarterback went out and I’m sure that played into it.”
Following a Unicoi punt, Hampton opened on their own 30-yard line and drove 70 yards on nine plays with Jones taking it in from the nine-yard line. Junior kicker Michael Harrison added the point-after kick for a 25-0 lead.
Unicoi (0-2) pulled a little trickeration on Hampton on the ensuing kickoff with Caleb Pelaez taking a reverse handoff and zigzagged 82 yards for the score with Miguel Vasquez adding the PAT for a 25-7 halftime mark.
The second half opened with a fumble from Unicoi County and Hampton took over at the 34-yard line. Vines took it in from there sweeping left and lugging the pigskin into the end zone for a 32-7 Hampton lead after the PAT kick from Harrison.
A lightning strike forced a 30-minute delay at 9:03 with 10:28 left in the third period.
Tropical storm Laura had the last word as play was called at 9:30 due to continued lightning strikes.
Hampton 32-7
Unicoi Co.   0   7   0 –   7
Hampton   10  15   7 – 32
Scoring summary
First Quarter
H – Lyons 4 run (Jones pass to Lyons) 3:57
H – Safety 2:07
Second Quarter
H – Jones 35 run (Jones run) 7:20
H – Jones 9 run (Harrison kick) :55
U – Pelaez 82 kickoff return (Vasquez kick) :36
Third Quarter
H – Vines 34 run (Harrison kick) 10:28