Hampton sent a statement in the season opener.
The Bulldogs captured a 32-7 victory over Unicoi County in the 2020 season opener after the game was called for lightning two minutes into the third quarter.
It was a methodical game for the Bulldogs.
After the teams trading possessions to open the game, Hampton and company got the ground game moving and the drive was capped as Morgan Lyons plowed into the end zone from three yards out. Lyons also added the two-point conversion.
The next Unicoi drive saw the Bulldog defense rise the occasion as multiple tackles for loss helped set up for a safety after an errant snap. After a Bulldog fumble, Hampton’s Dylan Trivett recorded an interception in the endzone to keep the Blue Devils empty-handed.
Midway through the second quarter, Conner Jones got into the scoring act as he broke free for a 34-yard touchdown run and then tacked on the two-point conversion to give Hampton an 18-0 lead with just over seven minutes to play in the half.
With just under a minute to play in the half, Jones struck again on a seven-yard touchdown and Michael Harrison added the extra point.
Unicoi, however, answered quickly as Caleb Pelaez scored on an 82-yard touchdown return on the ensuing kickoff Hampton got into scoring territory on a quick drive but was unable to convert before the half ended.
In the second half, the Hampton defense came up big once again by recovering a Blue Devil fumble – this one after an onside kick gave UC promising field position. The very next play saw Aiden Vines find a seem and race 34 yards for what would prove to be the final score of the night.
Shortly after the score, play was halted due to lightning and the game was called shortly afterward.
Jones tallied 124 rushing yards on eight carries, and he was 3-for-5 passing for 27 yards. Vines had nine carries for 85 yards, while Lyons finished the game with nine carries on 76 yards.
Hampton is slated to open Region 1-2A play next Friday night against rival Happy Valley.
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