The Warriors were looking for a win. However, Hampton had another idea.
In an instant classic, Hampton scored in the final minute to pull ahead and take a 28-21 victory over Happy Valley on Friday night at JC Campbell Stadium.
The win moves the Bulldogs to 3-1 on the season, while the Warriors fall to 0-4.
From the get-go, it was a back and forth battle. Hampton struck first as Jerry Lunsford scored on a 10-yard run, but the extra point was blocked. After a blocked field goal, Dylan Street stepped in front of a Hampton pass and returned it 28-yards for the touchdown. The Warriors took the 7-6 lead on the Tristan Pate extra point.
On the next Hampton drive, Josh Hammonds recovered a fumble. Phillip Garland capped off the ensuing drive with a nine-yard touchdown run that gave the Warriors a 14-6 lead with just over two minutes to play which is how the first quarter ended.
The Bulldogs tied the game early in the second stanza as Jerry Lunsford five in from a yard out. Coby Jones hit Dylen Ford to convert the two-point play and tie the game at 14-14.
However, the Warriors battled back as Garland ran in from 10 yards out to push Happy Valley to a 21-14 lead, and Hampton was unable to add any points before the half.
The Bulldogs struck again midway through the third quarter as Ford scored on a six-yard end around, but the two-point conversion failed as Hampton could only pull within a point.
Neither team was able to get anything going until the Bulldogs regained possession with just under two minutes to play. Jones hit Ford for a 55-yard gain to put Hampton in scoring position. Hampton took the lead and the win with just over 57 seconds to play as Jones scored on a four-yard keeper. The two-point conversion was good to give the Bulldogs a seven-point advantage. That would be the difference as the Warriors were unable to even the game before the time expired.
Jones finished the game with 112 yards passing on six completions, while he added 17 carries for 116 yards. For the Warriors,
Garland paced the way for the Warriors with 101 yards on 18 carries, while Dustun Sams added 53 yards.
Happy Valley returns to Three Rivers Conference play on Friday night as they travel to Johnson County, while Hampton will have the week off.
“We had so many turnovers and so many dumb mistakes early. An interception right off the bat then the fumble. a lot of teams would back down after that, going down two touchdowns to a county rival like that, but we found a way to fight back and we found a way to win.”
-Hampton Head Coach Mike Lunsford
“It hurts because our kids were playing hard. They’re a wonderful group to coach and we’re so close. I hurt for them, our assistant coaches, we’re going to get better but this was a tough one tonight. Our kids have a nice energy about them, they compete. They were more physical this week but give Hampton, coach (Mike) Lunsford and his staff a lot of credit. They have a good team, they’re hard-nosed. They’ve been doing this stuff for a long time.”
Happy Valley Head Coach Larry Shively