Bulldogs dominate Cloudland in backyard brawl

Published 11:00 am Monday, September 25, 2023

STAR CORRESPONDENT

The annual backyard brawl between Hampton and Cloudland became a beatdown as Hampton dominated the Cloudland Highlanders in a 50-6 victory at Orr Field on Friday night. The Bulldogs (4-2 overall) scored 30 second-quarter points to take a 44-6 halftime lead and never needed to look back.

Cloudland scores first in first quarter

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On their second drive, Cloudland (2-3 overall) drove from its 45 to the Hampton 20-yard line from where Kyle Birchfield – throwing out of the wildcat formation – found Austin Caraway on a 20-yard scoring pass. The two-point run was no good, so the ‘Landers settled for a 6-0 advantage.

That didn’t last long as Hampton overcame a first and 20 because of a holding penalty and senior Geno Carrico scored on a 50-yard scamper down the home sideline. The ‘Dogs two-point run also was not good, so the score stood at 6-6. One play after forcing a Cloudland punt Dominique Burleson scored on a 62-yard run to stake Hampton to a 14-6 lead after Burleson ran in the deuce.

“Once I got to the sideline, I knew I had it,” Burleson said. “My receivers were out front blocking and it was wide open. This is what we came here to do. My O-line was getting a lot of criticism but tonight, they showed who they are. I give them a lot of credit.”

An avalanche of Bulldog points highlights the second quarter

Hampton’s Bryson Markland recovered a ‘Landers fumble and Peyton Townsend cashed in the turnover with a 21-yard touchdown scamper and Trivett passed to J.J. McElyea for the two-point conversion and the ‘Dogs led 22-6. On the next Bulldog possession, Burleson scored on a 16-yard run and Trivett ran in the deuce for a 30-6 Bulldogs lead.

Burleson then picked off a Birchfield pass and Carrico cashed it in on a one-yard run as Hampton continued to pour it on with a 38-6 lead. Hampton capped off a 30-point second quarter with a 68-yard Trivett to McElyea pass play to make it 44-6 at the half.

Second half sees a running clock and a Landers drive falters

Damian Buckles scored on a 25-yard run to open the third quarter and Hampton took a 50-6 lead after the point after kick sailed wide left. Cloudland then began a drive highlighting Kyle Birchfield that ended at the Hampton 19-yard line after a motion penalty and an incomplete pass on fourth and 17 and the Bulldogs took over on downs.

Mike Lunsford honored pre-game

Former Cloudland head coach Mike Lunsford was honored pre-game by naming the ‘Landers fieldhouse for him. Lunsford won over 200 games in his career as ‘Landers head coach.

“It feels good to come here and play well,” Bulldogs head coach Michael Lunsford said. “Especially on a night where my dad was honored and I know it is awful special to him for Cloudland to do that. And for us to play well on a night like that is special. My offensive line has taken a lot of flack about how they hadn’t played very well and tonight I thought they hit their stride and I told them that they ‘took it personal’ and they dominated on both sides of the ball.”

For Cloudland, Kyle Birchfield rushed for 86 yards on 22 carries and had a touchdown pass on three for nine passing.

Hampton 50-6

Scoring Summary

First Quarter

C – Caraway 20 pass from K. Birchfield (run failed) 7:35

H – Carrico 50 run (run failed) 6:20

H – Burleson 62 run (Burleson run) 4:20

Second Quarter

H – Townsend 21 run (Trivett pass to McElyea) 11:07

H – Burleson 16 run (Trivett run) 4:45

H – Carrico 1 run (pass failed) 2:55

H – McElyea 68 pass from Trivett (Trivett pass to Wilson) 1:30

Third Quarter

H – Buckles 25 run (kick failed) 10:01

Individual Statistics

RUSHING

C – K. Birchfield 22-86, Peppers 5-13, K. Cole 1-5, G. Cole 1-(-1). H – Burleson 8-138, Carrico 2-51, Trivett 7-41, Townsend 3-57, McElyea 1-24, Buckles 1-25, E. McKinney 1-19.

PASSING

C – K. Birchfield 3-9, 32 yards. 1 TD, 1 int. H – Trivett 5-7, 100 yards, 1 TD.

RECEIVING

C – Caraway 1-20, Peppers 1-17, B. Birchfield 1-(-5). H – McElyea 3-97, Burleson 1-7, Wilson 1-(-4)