Once things started clicking for Hampton Friday night, the Bulldogs rallied in a big way.
Hampton erased a 20-0 deficit and scored the final 28 points of the game to rally to take a 36-27 victory over Avery County (N.C.) in Newland.
The Vikings took control early as ACHS used a 10-play drive to open the game and took a 7-0 lead when Will Stanford hit Lukas Hughes for an eight-yard score.
After Hampton was forced to punt on its first drive of the game, the Viking offense picked up where they left off as Logan Gilliam caught a Stanford pass for 29 yards to take a 14-0 lead with four minutes remaining in the quarter.
Hampton was unable to get anything going on the next drive as Avery maintained a 14-0 lead at the end of the quarter.
Early in the second, Avery County scored on a Stanford run from 17 yards out. The ensuing extra point was blocked by Hampton’s Dominique Burleson as Avery held a 20-0 advantage with 9:56 left in the half.
The teams traded possessions, and the Hampton defense came up big late in the quarter.
Jonathon Greenwell intercepted Stanford and returned the ball 71 yards as Hampton took over inside the Avery 5.
On fourth-and-goal, Levi Lunsford scored from three yards out and added the two-point conversion as Hampton closed the gap to 20-8.
Avery, however, wasn’t done scoring in the first half as on the next offensive play Stanford broke free for a 63-yard run to take a 27-8 lead into the half.
On the opening play from scrimmage of the third quarter, Hampton was unable to jump on a fumble as Avery took over on their own 28.
Elijah McKinney got the ball back with an interception for the Bulldogs on the ensuing drive.
The Hampton offense started clicking after the McKinney interception.
HHS went 12 plays to cover 78 yards and got back on the board as Lunsford scored on a three-yard run.
Chance Point added the two-point conversion as the Bulldogs pulled back within 27-16 after three complete quarters.
After the Vikings punted to open the fourth quarter, the Bulldog rushing attack stayed hot as Lunsford scored from five yards out to cap a 10-play drive, and close the Hampton deficit to three points with eight minutes remaining.
Hampton’s defense rose to the occasion on the next drive by forcing a three-and-out and a punt.
Two plays later, Greenwell broke free for a 64-yard touchdown to give Hampton its first lead of the night with 5:54 to play.
The Bulldog defense continued to befuddle the Vikings on the next drive forcing a quick punt.
From there, Hampton secured the win with a 7-play drive that took nearly four minutes off the clock and pushed the advantage to 36-27 when Lunsford scored on a 27-yard run.
Lunsford finished the night with 170 yards on 26 carries, while Greenwell had 107 yards on nine rushes.
Burleson and McKinney led Hampton with seven total tackles.
The Bulldog defense held Avery to just eight total offensive yards in the second half.