A ton of implications… Hampton-South Greene result will impact both teams into playoffs

Published 11:31 am Tuesday, September 27, 2022

STAR CORRESPONDENT
Hampton and South Greene on a gridiron and enough said.
One of the biggest rivalries over the last few years will renew their battle on the football field Friday night in Greeneville when the Class 2A #1 ranked Hampton Bulldogs make the trip to South Greene High School with a possible conference championship hanging in the balance for the winner of this contest, as well as the Bulldogs, maintaining the top spot they have held for the last few weeks.
It is a game where the results to this point can’t be figured in because according to Hampton head coach Michael Lunsford, the Rebels are a better team than what the win-loss numbers reflect.
“I think South Greene is a lot better team than what their record shows,” Lunsford said. I went and watched them last week against Chuckey Doak and Chuckey Doak had four yards at halftime but somehow were up 14-6. They have played a lot of really good football teams – Knox Catholic, Boone, West Greene who we scrimmaged and they were a hand full for us, and at Chuckey Doak where Doak was down 21-14 to Catholic so they have played a lot of really good football teams. They give us a hard time and it’s hard to play at South Greene. The atmosphere is going to be tough and it’s going to be hard to play well there.”
For Lunsford, he knows that the game is important from a conference and playoff perspective because of the home-field advantage of being the #1 seed in Region 1.
“I told them after the Happy Valley game that we had two weeks to prepare for the biggest game of the season to this point because it is basically the conference championship and you have to beat them to win the conference championship,” said Lunsford. “Everything is on the line and we have to find ways to improve for the next two weeks after the Happy Valley game. Every day we need to find a way to get better and they have worked their butts off and we have found ways to get better up to this point and we have to continue that the rest of this week and execute on Friday.”
The Hampton coach was asked what he felt was the most important key for his Bulldogs to come back to Hampton with the all-important win.
“I feel like our offense has to show up,” Lunsford said. “They are very good defensively and it shows as Chuckey Doak is a heck of a football team and they had four total yards in the first half. They are hard to move the football on and we have to be able to do some things that we don’t normally do to be able to move the ball. We have to block better than what we have done in the past, catch the football better than what we have done, and we just have to be on our ‘A’ game. Everybody offensively has to be able to execute at a very high level.”
Like most teams, the Bulldogs have reached the middle of the 2022 season and continue to be in the hunt for their second consecutive trip to the Class 2A State Championship. Lunsford was asked to evaluate his team to this point in the season to last year’s team that went to state.
“I feel like we were behind earlier in the season with quarterback Dylan (Trivett) being out so much with his hand cut and just getting him into the flow of the season and getting him into the games and being able to use him as a weapon the way we wanted to use him,” Lunsford said. “He has practiced for four weeks straight. We have got further along in the last two weeks than what we have in the first of the season.”
The kickoff for Friday’s game will be at 7:30 p.m.

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