Bulldogs hold off Austin East to advance

Carter County Sports

Number 201 will leave a lasting impression on Hampton head coach Mike Lunsford.

Lunsford and the Bulldogs outraced the Austin-East Roadrunners to a 48-38 victory in the second round of the TSSAA Class 2A playoffs on Friday, Nov. 13, at J.C. Campbell Stadium.

(Postgame audio and photo gallery below)

Hampton (12-0) will host Grace Christian Academy, 35-14 winners over Rockwood, on Nov. 20 in the third round of the playoffs with a bid to the state semifinals up for grabs. The loss ended the Roadrunners season at 9-3 overall.

AE marked down the field on their opening possession but Nathan Norris got the ball rolling for the Bulldogs in the first after a pick-six went the distance for 61 yards. A point-after attempt gave the ‘Dogs the 7-0 lead with 9:13 in the period. An onside recovery by Adam McClain set up Hampton in ideal field possession to orchestrate a five-play, 51-yard drive that ended with a 2-yard scamper by Jerry Lunsford. A Coby Jones 5-yard score put the ‘Dogs up 20-0 at the end of the first quarter.

The Roadrunners moved the deficit within six points, 20-14, after back-to-back scores from Jashan Jackson and quarterback Darius Harper. Adam McClain pulled the advantage back for the ‘Dogs to end the first half, racing in for a score for the 26-14 halftime tally.

Austin East and Hampton traded scores during the second half but Jones moved the ‘Dogs back ahead with 8:33left in the game – going in from four yards out for the 42-38 score.

Another McClain fumble placed Hampton in ideal field possession once again, with Jones rushing from 30 yards out for the final touchdown.

AE looked to mount a final drive but a forced fumble by Jason Russell, recovered by Josh Pierce, allowed the ‘Dogs to take the victory formation into next week’s stretch of the postseason.

McClain finished with 21 carries on 163 yards. Lunsford added 29 carries for 142 yards while Jones’ finished with over 150 yards of total offense, hitting Jared Wiltshire with a pair of long balls during the contest.

Postgame Audio

Hampton Head Coach Mike Lunsford (Part 1 and 2)

Hampton’s Coby Jones

Hampton’s Nathan Norris

Hampton’s Nathan Norris interview

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