Bulldogs fall on the road to the Pisgah Bears 42-14

Published 9:06 am Tuesday, September 5, 2023

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By Ron Marvell
Star Correspondent
The Bulldog faithful made the 1 hour and 45-minute trek Friday night to Memorial Field in Pisgah North Carolina. Unfortunately when all was said and done, Hampton found themselves on the wrong end of the scoreboard as they fell 42-14 to the Bears.
The offense for the Bears would waste little time jumping out front 7-0 after efficiently moving down the field on just six plays. The Bulldogs would be turned away on their first series and the Bears would take advantage quickly and go up 14-0 midway in the first period. The Bulldogs would show some mettle as a healthy dose of Dominique Burleson would move the ball inside the Pisgah 20-yard line, but the Bulldogs would be stopped on fourth and short and the Bears would take over deep in their own territory. The Bulldog defense would respond by forcing the Bears off the field after a Grayson Young sack. Senior JJ McElyea would make a nice adjustment on a 35-yard from QB Dylan Trivett and cut the lead to 14-6. The Bears would grab momentum back, scoring on their next series and pushing their lead to 15. With just under two minutes left, Trivett would connect with receivers McElyea and Elijah McKinney pushing the ball inside the Bear’s 5-yard line, but the final ticks would evaporate before they could punch the ball into the endzone.
The depth and size of the Bears would begin to show in the second half as they would push the lead out to 42-6. Late in the game, Geno Carrico scored a 4-yard TD run and Peyton Townsend would punch in the 2-point conversion to make the final score 42-14. For the game, Burleson would have 17 carries for 81 yards and Townsend would chip in 70 yards. Trivett would end the night 9-10 for 132 yards in passing and McKinney and McElyea would lead in receiving yards with 65 and 61, respectively. McKinney would also lead all tacklers with 10 tackles, while McElyea and Carrico would toss in 7 and 5. After the game, Coach Lunsford reflected on his team’s efforts in the loss: “We played hard and tough, but we have to play smarter moving forward and we have to do a better job controlling the gaps we as a team have to do better when we get inside an opponent 10-yard line” Lunsford said.
The Bulldogs (1-2) will return to JC Campbell Stadium Friday night to take on Region 1-2A opponent Happy Valley (0-2), a game that could go a long way to determine standing in the district. For Happy Valley football head coach Jason Jarrett, these Bulldogs have an all too familiar look; “Hampton looks to be the typical Hampton team; they are fast and physical. We must play our best game of the year; they have the ability to score from anywhere on the field and their defense plays with an attacking mindset,” Jarrett shared. Coach Lunsford knows that this a Happy Valley team that is better than their record reflects “they play hard, and they have had opportunities, they could have easily beat Cloudland and played a good Unicoi team even for most of the first half” Lunsford added. The game is slotted for a 7:30 kickoff.

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