Hampton welcomes Avery County to Campbell Stadium

Published 1:19 pm Tuesday, August 31, 2021

BY ALLEN LAMOUNTAIN

STAR CORRESPONDENT

Hampton looks to stay unbeaten on Friday night as they welcome winless Avery County N.C. Vikings to J.C. Campbell Stadium for a non-conference clash.

The Bulldogs (2-0 overall) have played just one game thus far – a 20-14 win over Pigeon Forge – before last week’s 1-0 COVID win over Johnson County.

Avery (0-2) has played two games – a 39-21 loss to Cherokee and a 34-22 loss to Cherryville in the Vikings opener – and has posted some solid offensive numbers.

Sophomore quarterback Will Stanford is a threat in the run game as well as the passing game and he has a rock-solid tailback in junior Chad Giarrusso.

“Their quarterback and running back do a lot for them,” Bulldogs head coach Michael Lunsford. “Quarterback is a quick kid, good athlete. Can run or throw the ball well.

“For us, we are big proponents of doing what we do well. We pound it with big backs and there is a fine line between doing what you do well and taking what they give you.”

The Vikings have a solid receiving core with junior Logan Gilliam being Stanford’s primary target. Senior linebackers Adrian Shook and Dakota Chicken Hoilman having caught Lunsford’s eye on film.

“They are athletic and have a couple of good linebackers and number 23 (Gilliam) catches the ball well,” Lunsford said. “With a good running quarterback, it is important to hold the edge and the rush lanes.

“We will have to keep containment to prevent them from getting to the edge and the sideline.”

For Hampton, senior quarterback Conor Jones operates the Bulldogs offense and he has a plethora of weapons to work with beginning with senior back Morgan Lyons and several fleet receivers in Johnathan Greenwell and Caleb Royston.

Junior tailbacks Levi Lunsford and Ty McElyea are threats from anywhere on the field and both can catch the ball as well. Sophomores Chance Point and Dylan Trivett also figure in the ‘Dogs passing game as well as being fine blockers in the running attack.

Hampton has a pair of linemen out with illness but they are deep on the line of scrimmage.

The game time is 7:30 pm.