Hampton’s last gasp effort falls short

Published 1:08 am Saturday, October 2, 2021

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR SPORTS EDITOR
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com
HAMPTON – Fans started to line up at the gate well before the kickoff of the Hampton and South Greene game on Friday at JC Campbell Stadium in Hampton in anticipation of a knockdown and drag-out affair between the two teams battling for the driver’s seat in Region 1 Class 2-A.

The teams didn’t disappoint as the game came down to one final play by Hampton to put the ball into the end zone trailing by six with time running out. The pass from Bulldog quarterback Conor Jones to Morgan Lyons was batted away and the Rebels flew to their side of the field to celebrate a hard-fought 28-22 victory.

A quick start.
The Bulldogs won the toss and deferred to the second half but that wouldn’t matter as one the first play from scrimmage a pass from Rebel quarterback Luke Myers was knocked down and plucked out of the air by Lyons who was playing his first game of the season after breaking an ankle during a preseason scrimmage.

Jones wasted little time as the cat-like quarterback dashed straight through the middle of the Rebel defense and raced 39 yards for the touchdown with 10:19 showing on the first-quarter clock. The two-point conversion failed and Hampton led 6-0.

South Greene owns the rest of half.
After the Hampton score, the Rebels seized the momentum as Myers connected on a 29-yard scoring toss to Jalen Ingram to knot the score at 6-6. Myers took care of the point-after and the Rebels had the lead at 8-6 with 7:23 left in the opening quarter.

The Rebels extended the lead to 16-6 when Myers took off on a 26-yard scamper with 8:03 left in the first half. Myers also added the two-point conversion.

South Greene added one final score in the half as Myers went back to the air and found Clint Lamb on a 34-yard scoring strike. The conversion failed and the Rebels took a 22-6 advantage to the locker room.

Hampton seizes momentum in the third quarter.
TheĀ  Bulldogs came out of the locker room with a little more spunk and took the opening kickoff and proceeded to march down the field as Lyons blasted in from three yards out to draw the ‘Dogs closer after Jones made good on the two-point conversion with the scoreboard reading 22-14.

On the ensuing kick, a South Greene player on the front line couldn’t come up with a squibbed kick, and the ‘Dogs pounced on the football.

Jones plowed across the goal line from three yards out and then took care of the two-point conversion to even the score at 22-22 with 3:26 left in the third quarter. That’s the way the quarter would end to set up a thrilling finish.

Fourth quarter one to be talked about for some time.
South Greene forged ahead on a three-yard push by Myers with 8:08 left in the game. The conversion failed andĀ  Hampton had a chance as the scoreboard read 28-22.

Hampton took the ball on the kickoff and marched downfield where they faced a fourth and one situation. The Rebels defense held to get the ball back with 4:11 to play.

The Rebels appeared to be heading down the field for another score before a fumble that sent ‘Dogs scurrying for the football and coming away with it to put the ball back in the hands of the offense at the Hampton 41-yard line with 2:43 remaining.

Hampton tried some trickery on the opening play and Jones pass attempt was picked off by the Rebels with 2:31 remaining.

The Bulldogs knew they had to hold and thanks to some penalties against the Rebels and a stout defensive uprising, the Rebels were forced to punt with 1:11 remaining in the contest.

Hampton didn’t put anyone back and the punt rolled dead at the 15-yard line of Hampton.

Using a mix of pass and run plays, the ‘Dogs managed to move the ball down to the Rebel 30-yard line with two shots at the end zone with 18 seconds remaining that both came up short as the Rebels took over first place in the region with the 28-22 victory.