Hampton proved they belong in the conversation of the state’s best teams on Thursday night.
In a battle of state-ranked teams, the Bulldogs dropped a hard-fought 21-20 decision to Class 5A Daniel Boone on Thursday night at JC Campbell Stadium.
Hampton falls to 8-2 on the year with both losses coming to Class 5A No. 4 Daniel Boone and Class 3A No. 2 Gatlinburg-Pittman. Both losses were by a combined nine points.
Daniel Boone finished the season 10-0 for the first time in school history.
Hampton is set to open the 2022 playoffs at JC Campbell next Friday night as Oneida comes to visit.
It was all Hampton in the first half.
The Bulldogs took the opening kick and methodically marched down the field taking over six minutes off the clock. The drive was capped by a Levi Lunsford touchdown and two-point conversion.
The Hampton defense came up big on the ensuing drive as Jonathon Greenwell intercepted a Trailblazer pass, but Hampton was unable to capitalize.
HHS held an 8-0 lead after a quarter.
The Bulldog defense held the Trailblazers three-and-out, and the offense went back to the ground. With runs from Lunsford and Greenwell, the Bulldogs quickly moved deep into Boone territory.
Lunsford capped the drive with a one-yard touchdown for his second score of the night.
The teams traded possessions – including a Lunsford fumble recovery – as Hampton took a 14-0 lead into the half.
Hampton outgained Daniel Boone 233-31 in the opening 24 minutes as the Trailblazers only ran nine plays in that time.
Daniel Boone took advantage of a short field to open the third quarter as Luke Jenkins found Jake Davenport for a 12-yard touchdown to cut the Hampton lead to 14-7.
The Bulldogs saw the ensuing drive get to the Boone 25 but came up short on fourth down.
Gene Carrico, however, nabbed Hampton’s second interception of the day to get the ball back.
Daniel Boone recorded another big fourth down stop as Hampton held a 14-7 lead after three complete.
Boone evened things up with just under 10 minutes to play in the fourth as Jenkins scored on a one-yard run.
Hampton took the ball with 9:35 left to play and marched down the field with the ground game leading the way. Lunsford pushed Hampton ahead with 2:27 to play with a short touchdown run. The two-point conversion, however, was unsuccessful.
The Trailblazers answered in three plays as Landon Kirkpatrick caught a Jenkins pass for a 40-yard touchdown, and Ben Shrewsbury added the extra point.
Hampton had a chance to answer but could not overcome two early sacks to start the drive.
”It stings to lose one like that,” Hampton Head Coach Michael Lunsford said. “There are 100 plays that if then and if that, but I am proud of our guys – they played their butts off and were very resilient and tough. I am very proud of them.”
Lunsford had an impressive performance with 205 yards on 44 carries with three scores.
Dominique Burleson had 41 yards on 12 carries. Dylan Trivett had 53 passing yards.
Jenkins was 12-of-19 for 180 yards. Kirkpatrick had four catches for 72 yards, while Rylan Trout had 65 yards on four catches.
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