Hampton gave it their best shot.
The Bulldogs were unable to keep pace with Ty Simpson and the Westview Chargers as Hampton fell 55-14 in the BlueCross Bowl Class 2 State Championship game at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga on Saturday.
“I am as proud of them at the end of the game as I was at the beginning of the game,” Hampton head coach Michael Lunsford said. “I’ll be there for them from now until the rest of their life. I don’t stop being their coach.”
It was the first state title game appearance for the Hampton program.
The first quarter nearly went to plan for the Bulldogs.
Hampton took the opening kick and methodically worked down the field keeping the Westview offense off the field.
“We knew it was going to be an uphill challenge,” Lunsford said. “We thought if would could keep the ball away from him, we might have a chance. We did that pretty good in parts of the game, but they were just very explosive.”
HHS capped the nearly 10-minute drive when Conor Jones scored on an eight-yard run and added the two-point conversion as Hampton took an 8-0 lead with 2:29 left in the first quarter.
Westview, however, disrupted the plan when Simpson – an Alabama commit – found Qunicy Hamilton for a 45-yard play on the second snap from scrimmage after the Hampton tour.
The Bulldogs fumbled on their ensuing possession, and Simpson found Garner Anderson on the next play for a 34-yard pass as Westview took a 14-8 lead.
Hampton ended the first quarter moving the ball and got back on the board to tie the game early in the second when Conor Jones hit Morgan Lyons for a 10-yard pass.
The Chargers answered as Simpson finished off a big run with a short touchdown run. After the Bulldog offense was unable to convert a fourth down, Westview added a Javion Goins touchdown from 19 yards out.
The Bulldog offense got moving again in the final minutes of the quarter. However, the drive came up short as Hampton was stopped on four-and-goal at the one.
Dylan Trivett stopped any chance of a last-season Westview score as he nabbed an interception to end the half.
Chance Point came up big for Hampton on the first drive of the third quarter as he picked off a Westview pass.
Hampton, however, saw Westview repay the favor with an interception of their own to set up a 10-yard touchdown from Simpson.
The Chargers added another score late in the quarter to push the lead out.
Hampton continued to fight and battle, but was unable to get back in the endzone as Westview added 13 points in the final quarter to account for the final margin.
Levi Lunsford had 66 yards on 14 carries to pace the Hampton offense, while Jones finished with 53 yards on 19 carries. The senior signal-caller also went 11-of-18 for 109 yards through the air.
“I wanted to go out in another way,” Jones said. “I wanted to win this thing. To come up short is a heartbreaker, but we kept fighting until the last buzzer, and I’m proud of my guys for that. And I’m thankful for God allowing us to play.”
Lyons added 52 rushing yards on 14 runs along with 39 receiving yards.
Jones led the Hampton defense with seven tackles, while Tyler Thompson had two tackles. Andon Winters and Lyons had a tackle and a half apiece.
Simpson accounted for five touchdowns – three passing and two rushing – as he went for 181 yards on 10 carries, while going 5-10 passing for 99 yards.