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A tough second-game showdown… Hampton, Happy Valley set to play key region game

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR SPORTS EDITOR
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com    
Neither team will have a leg up on the other as both teams have faced the same obstacles in getting prepared for the first big showdown of the season in Region 1-2A as the Hampton Bulldogs and Happy Valley Warriors will meet on the turf at J.C. Campbell Stadium on Friday night at 7:30 pm.
Hampton is coming off a relatively easy 32-7 victory over Unicoi County at home while Happy Valley had to delay their game one day and play a Saturday night contest against county foe Cloudland.
The Warriors withstood a strong effort from a short-handed Highlander team to win a less-than-perfect 34-18 contest according to head coach Jason Jarrett.
Now, there is more at stake this week as both teams hope to get an upper hand in the region by winning the first significant contest of the season for both.
Happy Valley will have to rely on their line to stop a productive Bulldog squad that scored all of their 32 points in a lightning-shortened three-quarter game last week spreading the wealth around as quarterback Conor Jones had two scores on the ground, Morgan VInes added one as did Aiden Vines.
While Cloudland played the Warriors close, they just didn’t have the offensive fire power that the Bulldogs will be bringing to the table on Friday night with Jones capable of hurting a team on the ground on through the air while the Bulldog front line is as strong as it has ever been as Coach Michael Lunsford team can go 10 deep.
That is something that will have Jarrett worried as his team only had to wear down a Cloudland team that had only two substitutes to use the whole night on either side of the ball.
For the Bulldogs to win, they will have to challenge the Warrior defense that also has several returning linemen with both teams still somewhat not back into playing shape which will force both coaches to rely upon a good rotation on the trenches.
On the flip side, the Warriors got a huge effort from senior running back Matthew Bahn last week as the talented back accounted for all five of the Warrior scores.
However, this week expect the Bulldogs to have a keen eye on Bahn which will force quarterback Eli Ayers and his receiving corp to have to come up big to force the Hampton defense to have more to be concerned with.
Ayers came up with a couple of nice throws last week but also missed on a couple where his receivers were open.
Again chalk those mistakes up to timing due to a lack of practice.
It will be an entertaining contest as always when these two teams hook up on Friday. The game could go either way and the winner will most likely be as always the squad that makes the least mistakes and can capitalize on what is given to them by their opponent.
Ticket information released by Hampton AD Dewayne Humphrey
Each team has been given an allotment of tickets to better provide social distancing at this week’s game. Each team may choose to sell as they wish.
Hampton High School has chosen to do so in the following manner:
-HHS will be allowing each football player, cheerleader and band member a given number of tickets to be purchased. There respective coaches/sponsors will be in touch with them regarding the sale of tickets.
If there are any remaining tickets after the previously mentioned sales, they will be made available for community member purchase. We will announce if any are available.
We appreciate our families’ and community support.
The game will also be live-streamed on the Now That’s Hampton Facebook page for those who are unable to attend.