Hampton focuses on maintaining consistency in game with Cumberland Gap

Published 11:45 am Tuesday, September 12, 2023

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Hampton is coming off a week where they were able to refocus their energy on playing the type of football game that has carried Hampton over the years when they soundly defeated cross-county rival Happy Valley in a 36-0 shutout.
This week, the Bulldogs (2-2, 1-0) continue in conference play when they hit the road to Cumberland Gap (1-3, 1-1) which will be playing their second conference game of the week after slipping past North Greene by an 18-13 score on Monday night.
“We have been playing consistently as of late,” said head coach Michael Lunsford. “The guys have been showing up to practice and working their butts off. Dylan (Trivett) has taken more of a leadership role as he accounted for 250 yards of offense and three scores in last week’s game. He has taken the role on himself and so has Dominique (Burleson). Also,  J.J. McElyea has stepped up and taken the role left void by Chance’s (Point) injury to lead the team in tackles for the last two weeks.”
In Cumberland Gap, the ‘Dogs will be squaring off against a tough-nosed football team that likes to play the old style of football as they run from the power ‘T’ formation. Lunsford tipped his cap to first-year Panthers head coach Brett McPherson for bringing a no-nonsense approach to the program.
“Coach McPherson is doing a good job there as he is expecting a lot of the kids, including a tighter discipline, which has resulted in lower numbers of players on the team,” Lunsford said. “They play tough, hard-nosed football. In their mind, if they don’t throw a pass, they will be tickled to death. The old power ‘T’ is old style football and it is really hard to go against defensively. It will probably cause us to have to change personnel on defense.”
Lunsford hopes to see his team take control of the game from the opening kick and take care of business this week as he looks at the game as a business trip for his ‘Dog’ squad. If that is the case, then he feels like his team can take over and handle the game.
“There is still a lot of room for improvement,” said Lunsford. “We have sifted out the positions and feel like we have the kids that really are wanting to play in those positions. We believe we have kids out there who are going to play hard in those positions and that will help us grow as a team.”
The Panthers have given up a total of 126 points in four games while scoring 47 points in the same span. Hampton, meanwhile, has tallied 92 points in their four games while scoring a total of 96.
Kickoff is slated for 7:30 pm.

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