Hampton survives stampeding Longhorns in gritty showdown

Published 11:21 am Monday, August 28, 2023

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The Hampton Bulldogs were looking to get into the win column when they traveled to Mountain City on Friday, but they knew it was going to take a lot of grit and determination against an always tough Johnson County Longhorn team at Gentry Stadium.
When the dust had finally settled in their head-knocking clash, the Bulldogs did just that as they managed to stave off the hard-charging ‘Horns in a 32-26 victory to run their season record to 1-1.
The Bulldogs got standout performances from both running back Domnique Burleson and their defensive unit to earn the victory. Burleson scored three touchdowns including runs of 28, 19, and a short plunge early to stake the Bulldogs to the early lead.
Longhorn quarterback Connor Simcox did all he could to help keep his Longhorn team in the contest, throwing a 10-yard scoring strike to Jay Stout just seconds before the half to make it a 14-6 lead for the ‘Dogs at the intermission.
The senior gunslinger would finish with four passing touchdowns on the night with the final one coming within the closing minutes of the game before Hampton closed out the contest.
Geno Carrico added the final score of the night for Hampton on a third quarter scoring run to push the ‘Dog lead to 26-12 heading into the final quarter of play.
Injuries in the Bulldog secondary seemed to hamper the ‘Dogs in trying to corral Simcox.
“One thing that really hurt us was our starting outside linebacker and starting corner were both out with shoulder injuries,” said Hampton head coach Michael Lunsford. “Jace Stoot, Nathan King, Juan Mejia, and Luke Worlock are phenomenal players for Johnson County. They have a lot of good athletes who are hard to defend plus we had four or five kids that played every snap of the game and that made a difference.”
Senior Dylan Trivett played a huge role on the defensive side which helped to turn the tide for the visiting Bulldogs.
“Dylan played an exceptional game defensively, including some timely big plays,” said Lunsford. “We had some other kids that came into the game and defended as well which helped to make a lot of difference.
“Burleson carried the ball like 26 or 27 times for us and I believe that he is going to be one heck of a player.”
Hampton will stay on the road next week as they cross the state border into North Carolina to take on Pisgah High School in Canton, NC. The Bears come into the game 2-0 overall with wins over Brevard (24-10) and Enka (56-3).

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