It was a battle of two 6-0 teams on Friday night at JC Campbell Stadium. In the end, Hampton came out with a statement win.
The Bulldogs took advantage of early turnovers to roll to a 42-21 over Sullivan North on a rainy night in Hampton.
The win improves the Bulldogs to 7-0 record, including a perfect 4-0 conference mark, while the Raiders fell to 6-1 and 3-1 on the year.
The teams traded punts to open the game. The Hampton defense made the first chess move of the night as Josh Ray jumped on a Sullivan North fumble. That set the stage for an Adam McClain touchdown on fourth-and-inches from the goal line to put Hampton up 6-0.
On the ensuing drive, McClain jumped on a fumble to set Hampton up inside SN territory. A pair of Coby Jones runs moved Hampton inside the 10-yard line, and Jerry Lunsford capped off the drive with a two-yard touchdown. Jones converted the two-point conversion to hand Hampton a 14-0 lead.
The Raiders moved the ball on their next drive, and Ethan Maness hit a 33-yard field goal to as time expired to cut the Bulldog lead to 14-3 after a quarter of play.
The teams traded punts on the first two drives of the second quarter. Hampton started on a 90-yard drive that was capped when Hunter Davenport caught a Jones pass off of a deflection for a 16-yard touchdown pass. That gave Hampton a 20-3 lead at the half.
The second half saw the Bulldogs pick up where they left off.
Lunsford broke free for a 73-yard touchdown run on the first offensive play of the third quarter as HHS pushed the lead to 25 points. Sullivan North, however, answered on the next drive as Zack Byrns scored from a yard out as Hampton held a 28-9 advantage.
The next Hampton drive saw Jones break free for a 39-yard touchdown, and the Bulldogs defense saw Dakota Sanchez jump on a Sullivan North fumble on the next defensive drive. The Bulldog rushing attack carried the ball down the field as McClain pushed the lead to 42-9 with a one-yard touchdown as the third quarter expired.
The Raiders, however, wouldn’t go quietly as Peyton Robinson scored on an eight-yard run, and Nick Maupin added a five-yard touchdown following the onside kick to cut the lead to 21 points with just over eight minutes to play. However, the Bulldogs offense iced the game by holding the ball for the final eight minutes of the half.
Lunsford led the way with 160 yards on 15 carries with two scores, while Jones tallied 14 carries with 133 yards and a score. McClain added 92 yards on 16 carries.
Byrns led North with 85 yards.
As a team, Hampton held a 410-367 advantage in total offense.
The win puts the Bulldogs in control of their destiny as far as the conference race. The Bulldogs will host South Greene next Friday night at JC Campbell Stadium.
Hampton’s Mike Lunsford discusses his team’s win over Sullivan North
Hampton’s Jerry Lunsford discusses his teams win over Sullivan North