Hampton holds their ground against Blue Devils in middle school contest, 40-16
BY NIC MILLER
Hampton- Another Thursday during the fall sports season brought with it another middle school gridiron matchup in Carter County as the Hampton Bulldogs hosted the Unicoi County Blue Devils.
Things got off to a hot start for the Bulldogs when Dominique Burleson would take the opening kickoff seventy-two yards down to the Blue Devil ten-yard line.
And when it looked like the ‘Dawgs were set up perfectly to score, a fumbled snap would result in Unicoi County ball deep in their own territory.
After a great stand by the Bulldogs defense resulting in a Unicoi County turnover on downs, Hampton would take over at the Blue Devil thirty-four yard line.
But this game had become a defensive contest as a pass by Burleson would be picked off by the Devils’ Garrett Sellars to give the visitors another shot.
Things would continue this way until two minutes into the second quarter when Burleson would find his tight end Evan Porter from almost thirty yards out to give the Bulldogs a 6-0 advantage.
Just before halftime, the Bulldogs’ Logan Brochue would take a punt back seventy-eight yards for what seemed to be another Hampton touchdown, but a penalty marker brought back the return, leaving the score at 6-0 during the halftime break.
After recovering an onside kick to start the second half, the Bulldogs would eventually capitalize off of their momentum when Burleson would keep it himself and maneuver his way to the goal line to increase the Hampton lead, 12-0.
After his touchdown that was called back earlier in the game, Brochue got another shot and there were no flags holding him back as he sprinted fifty-six yards to the goal line, giving the Bulldogs an 18-0 advantage going into the final quarter.
The scoring onslaught by the Bulldogs continued in the fourth when Connor Mckinney would take the ball for a twenty-five-yard rushing touchdown followed by the two-point conversion by AJ Greenless to increase the Hampton lead, 26-0.
The Blue Devils would finally get on the board halfway through the final quarter when a fumble on a quarterback carry would result in a scoop and score by lineman Zeke Campbell from forty yards out to decrease the deficit 26-8.
And if it seemed like things had slowed down, Damien Buckles picked up the pace on the following kickoff, taking the ball back sixty yards for another Bulldog touchdown, making the score an uneven 32-8 late in the game.
The final score of the game for Unicoi County would come close to the final horn when the blue Devils’ Branson Salts would go fifty yards across the goal line, cutting their deficit to 32-16.
And just before the clock hit zero, the Bulldogs would add one more with Greenless going across the goal line from midfield to seal the deal as Hampton would roll to a win, 40-16.