‘Dogs to face stiff opponent in Gatlinburg-Pittman on Friday

Published 2:17 pm Tuesday, October 4, 2022

STAR CORRESPONDENT
The Hampton football team continued to show last week why they have been a staple as the #1 Class 2-A team in the state for the 2022 season as they manhandled their arch rival South Greene Rebels last week in a 37-0 shelling on the road in Greeneville.
In that game, the Bulldogs held the Rebel offense to a negative eight yards in offense for the entire game.
This week, the ‘Dogs will once again be road warriors as they travel to the foothills of the Smoky Mountains to take on the Gatlinburg-Pittman Highlanders in a contest that will feature the undefeated Bulldogs and a 5-1 Highlander team that has defeated Seymour (45-14), Austin-East (38-6), Loudon (35-28), Union County (47-0) and CCHS out of Gadsden, AL (28-24) while their only loss has been to Alcoa (52-17).
Hampton head coach Michael Lunsford said that this week would bring a huge challenge to his team not only being on the road but playing a very good Gatlingburg-Pittman will present one of the strongest opponents to date.
“We have to have perfect execution in practice,” Lunsford said Monday. “We have to be focused and something I told the kids today is it is hard to play at the same level week after week. You play at a high level at South Greene and have to double up and play at a high level at Gatlingburg-Pittman because that is what it is going to take or even play better. They are very, very balanced. They can run the ball and throw the ball. The score was 17-7 when they played Alcoa at the half before Alcoa broke out in the second half. They are really good athletes.”
Lunsford wanted to lavish praise on a trio of athletes that he felt didn’t get enough acknowledgment for their contribution to this year’s team.
“I think that we are playing so hard,” Lunsford said. “I pointed out three kids at practice today in Luke Belcher, Austin Bentley, and Johnathan Greenwell that go as unrecognized as anybody for what they are doing for us. They do so much to help this team and are willing to do whatever is asked of them.”
Belcher, Bentley, and Greenwell, along with the rest of the ‘Dogs, will have a ton of work to do on Friday as the Highlanders average 195 yards passing and 209 yards rushing per game.
Brady Hammonds has completed 73-of-125 passing attempts on the year for 1,169 yards and 14 scores.  Tegan Avera is the leading rusher carrying the ball 105 times for 870 yards.
Hampton is led by quarterback Dylan Trivett and senior running back Levi Lunsford, who has been a beast for the Bulldogs opponents to stop. Lunsford had 154 yards rushing last week against South Greene along with four touchdowns.
“These games make you better because you have to prepare harder, play harder, and makes you expand your offense and defense as to what you want to do,” Lunsford added.
Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.

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