Jr. ‘Dogs hold off Cloudland on a special night

Published 11:28 pm Thursday, September 30, 2021

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR SPORTS EDITOR
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com
HAMPTON – On a night filled with fun events for the Hampton Middle student body, the Hampton Jr. Bulldogs got into the act by withstanding a big-time challenge from the Cloudland Middle Jr.  ‘Landers.

When the final horn sounded, Hampton came away with a 22-6 victory as the eighth-grade players and their families were recognized before the game, and classes fifth through eighth crowned a homecoming queen.

The first half was a dandy as both teams played lights out defensively as Hampton managed to get the only points of the half on the board with 2:33 left in the opening half.

Jr. ‘Dog punt returner Connor McKinney fielded the ball at his own 40-yard line and took it all the way to the end zone on a 60-yard touchdown run.

McKinney connected with Maddux Wilson for the two-point conversion and Hampton led 8-0.

That’s the way the first half ended as the Jr. ‘Dogs clung to the slim lead.

With the third quarter winding down, it was McKinney again who scrambled for an 18-yard touchdown run with 12 seconds showing on the clock. It was McKinney to Wilson once again for the two-point conversion to make it a 16-0 contest.

Hampton knew that Cloudland wasn’t about to go away and an extra score would give a cushion.

McKinney put all doubts to rest when he bolted cleanly through the Cloudland front and was off to the races for an electrifying 75-yard scoring run to make it 22-0 when the conversion failed.

Cloudland wasn’t about to walk away without putting any points on the board as Grayson Cole raced to pay dirt from 48 yards out to make it 22-6 as the conversion failed with only 1:46 remaining in the contest.