In an instant classic, sophomore Michael Harrah had the winning boot.
Harrah kicked a 21-yard field goal with 11.8 seconds left as Happy Valley edged out Hampton in a 17-16 thriller in front of a jam packed JC Campbell Stadium on Friday night.
“This kid (Harrah) just started kicking a football back in the winter,” Happy Valley Head Coach Jason Jarrett said. “He deserves it. This team deserves it because they put the work in.”
The win moves the Warriors to 6-0, while Hampton drops to 5-1 on the season.
The Bulldogs struck first as Hunter Davenport scored from 65-yards out on the first play of the game, and the conversion pushed the lead to 8-0 in the opening seconds.
Hampton was unable to capitalize on an interception on the next drive as the Warrior defense stalled the drive inside the 20.
The Warriors dug into the playbook and got no the board when Brayden Sams hit Dylan Street for a 45-yard touchdown on the wide receiver pass. Sage Haun hit Austin Hicks to tie the game at 8-8.
Neither team could take advantage of field position over the rest of the first half as the game remained tied at 8-8.
The score stayed knotted at 8-8 until Adam McClain scored on a three-yard run early in the fourth quarter. The two-point conversion was good for the Bulldogs.
Happy Valley answered as Haun found Street for a 55-yard screen pass to close the gap within two with 6:07 to play. However, the conversion attempt failed as a personal foul backed up the Warriors on the try.
Happy Valley set-up the winning drive by holding the Bulldogs on a fourth and seven with just under three minutes to play. It was the fourth time that Hampton had been denied on fourth down.
The Warriors methodically moved down the field to set up the winning field goal.
Davenport led Hampton with 20 carries for 133 yards. McClain added 25 carries for 111 yards.
“It was two good football teams just playing as hard as they possibly could,” Hampton Head Coach Michael Lunsford said. They have 18 seniors, and it makes a different in experience. But the season isn’t over. They have to understand that we have to get back to work.”
Happy Valley saw Street nab eight catches for 150 yards while Haun went 8-of-19 passing for 169 yards. Hicks and Dustun Sams had 51 and 41 yards, respectively.