Bulldogs make business trip dominating Cumberland Gap

Published 12:33 am Saturday, October 16, 2021

BY NIC MILLER
STAR STAFF
nic.miller@elizabethton.com

After having an unexpected week off last week, the Hampton Bulldogs were back in action on Friday when they traveled two hours away to take on the Panthers of Cumberland Gap.

It was a dominating performance by the Bulldogs from the first whistle until the clock struck zero, with Hampton rolling to a 42-0 win after the dust had cleared.

The Panthers started the contest with the pigskin, but after a quick three and out, it was Hampton’s turn on the offensive side.

And it was an opening drive built for only the toughest of players, as the Bulldogs repeatedly pounded the football through the middle on a 10 play, 60-yard drive that would be capped off by a Levi Lunsford two-yard score followed by a Michael Harrison PAT to make it 7-0 midway through the first stanza.

After another three and out by Cumberland Gap, this time coming from a big fourth-down stop by the Bulldogs’ Mckinley Kuhn to give his team the ball on the Panther 47.

This Hampton drive late in the first period differed from the inaugural drive, however, the result was the same as Lunsford found his way into the promised land once again, this time from 16 yards out to make it 14-0 in favor of the visitors with less than a minute before the end of the first quarter.

The action was quiet for both squads for the next few possessions, but things picked back up for Hampton with around five minutes until the break.

It was a possession filled with completions from quarterback Conor Jones, however, the drive would finish off with a rushing score when Brody Hicks would find paydirt from 20 yards away to give Hampton a three-score lead at the half, 21-0.

The Bulldogs picked up right where they left off to start the second half  as Hicks would score once more after taking the opening kickoff to the house, giving Hampton a 28-0 advantage early in the third quarter.

It was more of the same for the Hampton offense with just over a minute remaining in the third when running back Morgan Lyons would take the pigskin 23 yards down the field and across the goal line for another Bulldog score, one that would implement a running clock, 35-0.

The Bulldogs would essentially put the nail in the coffin midway through the final period when Dylan Trivett found Hicks from over 30 yards out to increase the advantage once more, giving Hampton a 42-0 lead, one that would come out to be the final score of the contest.

Hampton head coach Michael Lunsford spoke on his team’s performance and ability to get a big win postgame, saying, “It was great for our guys to just have the opportunity to come out and play tonight, especially after not playing last week because of covid. This week, we were able to get back to a sense of normalcy, and it really just means a lot for our guys to be able to come out and execute and do their jobs.”

Hampton will be back at home at JC Campbell Stadium next Friday night when they take on an inter-county foe in the form of the Unaka Rangers.