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Bulldogs, Tennessee High trending up

Douglas Fritz • Sep 29, 2019 at 12:00 PM

Hampton and Tennessee High both started the season with disappointing losses.

The Bulldogs were blown out 46-6 by Gatlinburg-Pittman while the Vikings were on the short end of a 33-13 decision against Dobyns-Bennett.

However, each team has regrouped and both posted runaway wins Friday night.

HAMPTON 44, JOHNSON COUNTY 8

It was a rivalry game, but a 37-point second quarter turned it into a rout.

After a slow offensive start where Hampton punted on its first three possessions, the Bulldogs hit their stride.

“We just played well in all three phases of the game,” said Hampton head coach Michael Lunsford of the explosion. “We had an interception and got a fumble, and it was really just a combination of the offense feeding off the defense. The kids are finally learning how hard they have to play.”

The honor roll was lengthy for the Bulldogs. Quarterback Conor Jones threw a pair of touchdown passes with Jonah Jones and Caleb Oaks on the receiving end. Aidan Vines rushed for a pair of scores and Isaiah Greenwell added a rushing touchdown.

“Aidan doesn’t get the credit he deserves,” said Lunsford. “He’s a heck of a player.”

Also, Macon Barden scored a touchdown and finished with close to 100 yards rushing.

On defense, linebacker Hayden Birchfield had an interception and Lunsford said he made a lot of tackles.

“He could be our No. 2 or No. 3 receiver, but he does such a good job on defense,” said Lunsford.

Linebackers Dylan Moffit (several tackles, sack) and Matt Hughes (sack) also stood out on defense.

Already saddled with one league loss, Hampton (3-2 overall) has a crucial Region 1-2A game set for Friday at Sullivan North.

TENNESSEE HIGH 35, ABINGDON 9

As usual, the Vikings got a strong effort from quarterback Cole McBrayer.

He threw a touchdown pass and finished 11 of 17 for 184 yards against the Virginia team. He also rushed for a pair of 1-yard scores.

“Cole was good with the ball,” said Mays. “He threw one ill-advised pass, but the rest were on the money. He’s getting better every game and learning what we need out of him. And he’s getting it done with his legs, too.”

The Vikings also got standout defensive performances from Damian Duff, Connor Bailey, and Trevor Dowdell.

“Damian had an excellent game at defensive end,” said Mays. “We were keyed on their running back, but when they threw Damian was a big part of rushing their passer. And he had a bunch of tackles off their run game.”

Bailey added 13 tackles from his linebacker position while Dowdell totaled 12 tackles and an interception.

The Vikings have won four in a row since the loss to D-B.

“We knew we had a good chance to win the D-B game,” said Mays. “We just made too many critical mistakes at critical times. We fixed some things and moved some personnel around, and the kids are binding together.”

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