Hampton to host Wildcats in round two of TSSAA playoffs
Published 12:05 pm Tuesday, November 8, 2022
Hampton made a statement in round one of the TSSAA region 2A playoff with a 32-0 shutout of Oneida and will look to keep rolling as the Bulldogs seek nothing less than a return to Murfreesboro and a place in the Blue Cross Bowl.
The Bulldogs will host the Monterey Wildcats on Friday night at JC Campbell Stadium and head coach Michael Lunsford knows his team will have to control the line of scrimmage against a large opponent.
“It’s going to be very important to control the line of scrimmage,” Lunsford said. “They are big everywhere. Their quarterback is big and he is an RPO guy who likes to take advantage of short-yardage situations and goal-line situations. Mason Bowman is a great tailback and he is a strong runner. We will have to contain him.”
Senior RB Levi Lunsford once again was the bulwark for the ‘Dogs with 165 rush yards and two touchdowns against the Indians and sophomore Dominique Burleson chipped in with 71 yards on 12 carries.
The ‘Dogs got a touchdown off a bad snap on an Oneida punt that Chance Point got to but couldn’t get the handle on the ball but Brody Hicks was able to and he scored on the play. All season long Hampton (9-2 overall) has had strong special teams play and last week was no different.
Monterey (9-2 overall) defeated Happy Valley 40-6 in round one and they are riding a seven-game win streak. The Wildcats have scored on average 31.2 points per game which is very close to an even pace with the ‘Dogs who score 37.2 points per contest.
The ‘Cats offense is triggered by senior Matthew Montgomery who is a 6’1” 230 pound athlete who is adept at making the tough throw. He has senior RB Eli Saylors who is a weapon out of the backfield as he can catch the football well and is good at run after catch. He had a 39-yard catch and run for a touchdown against the Warriors.
Junior quarterback Dylan Trivett is developing into a force to be reckoned with for Hampton as he had a throwing touchdown and a rushing touchdown against Oneida. He tossed a touchdown pass to junior TE Geno Carrico to open the scoring last week and he ran for one as the ‘Dogs piled up the points in their round one victory.
Hampton has always been supported by a strong home crowd and Lunsford hopes the fans come out in droves for this one saying, “The crowd has an impact on things. Against Daniel Boone, we had strong fan support, but last week was kind of dry. The fans do have an impact on the players. They want the crowd behind them. It makes them want to play at a high level.”
Monterey is strong defensively on the line with senior DT Dane Harper who stands 6’5” and goes 320 pounds and junior DT Colt Elrod who is a 6’3” 280 pound run stuffer.
“They have a lot of size and they have some good athletes,” Lunsford said. “We are going to have to play a clean game and avoid penalties and turnovers. We will have to play at a high level.”
Game time is 7 pm at JC Campbell Stadium.