Wildcats rally sinks Hampton’s hopes

Published 12:16 am Saturday, November 12, 2022

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With 2:42 left in the third period, Hampton took a 16-13 lead when senior Johnathan Greenwell recovered a Monterey blocked punt in the end zone. From there, however, Monterey scored 27 unanswered points on four huge runs to score a 40-16 win in round two of the TSSAA playoffs and end the Bulldogs season.
“Our guys have played over their heads most of the season,” Bulldogs head coach Michael Lunsford said. “We have smaller players – especially up front – and they are a good football team with some big, strong boys.”
The first quarter was a scoreless affair as the two squads slugged it out in the muck and rain. In the second period, the Wildcats got a break when a backward pass that was incomplete and ruled a fumble was returned 22 yards for a touchdown by senior Byron Borjas.
Darniel Hernandez kicked the point after for a 7-0 Monterey advantage.
Hampton (9-3 overall) answered with a 10-play, 60-yard drive capped off by a 12-yard touchdown run by senior RB Levi Lunsford. Lunsford also scored the deuce as the Bulldogs took an 8-7 lead.
Monterey was helped along on the next drive with a pass interference penalty on Hampton on fourth and three from the Hampton 25-yard line. On the next play senior RB Mason Bowman ran 20 yards for the touchdown that made it 13-8 in favor of the Wildcats as the run for two failed.
The ‘Dogs stopped the ‘Cats first drive of the second half with a fumble recovery from Greenwell but Hampton couldn’t advance the ball and had to punt. Monterey was backed up to its own 10-yard line from where Hernandez’s punt attempt was blocked after he dropped the snap and Greenwell pounced again giving the ‘Dogs their last lead of the contest.
On the next series, Monterey QB Matthew Montgomery took a Wildcat snap and was initially stopped, but he kept pushing forward and eventually broke free on an 80-yard touchdown run.
“We thought we had him stopped, and with things being so wet I felt like we had to grab and reach and couldn’t make the tackle,” Lunsford said. “We couldn’t get a hold of him to knock him down. But, I am awful proud of my seniors, they did a lot of things they didn’t know they could do, and Levi ran the ball awful well all season.”
In the fourth quarter, Monterey pulled away as Bowman had scoring runs of 64 and 66 and Montgomery had an 84-yard scoring run. Bowman finished with 238 yards on 22 carries while Montgomery added 181 yards on eight carries.
For Hampton, Lunsford had 131 yards on 33 carries and a touchdown.
Second Round playoff
Monterey 40-16
Monterey 0 13 8 19 – 40
Hampton 0 8 8 0 – 16
Scoring Summary
Second Quarter
M – Borjas 22 fumble return (Hernandez kick) 11:52
H – Lunsford 12 run (Lunsford run) 5:43
M – Bowman 20 run (run failed) 1:32
Third Quarter
H – Greenwell 10 fumble return (Lunsford run) 2:42
M – Montgomery 80 run (Montgomery run) 2:22
Fourth Quarter
M – Montgomery 84 run (run failed) 7:34
M – Bowman 64 run (run failed) 4:10
M – Bowman 66 run (Hernandez kick) :43

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