Hampton had to work to the wire on Friday night.
The Bulldogs used a sack by Collin Morgan on the game’s final play to secure a thrilling 20-14 victory over Pigeon Forge at JC Campbell Stadium.
The Hampton offense was firing on all cylinders in the early going as the Bulldogs methodically moved down the field. The 10-play drive was capped off when Conor Jones scored on a four-yard touchdown run as Hampton took an early lead.
After the teams traded possessions, Hampton once again went on the move and took a 14-0 lead late in the second quarter as Johnathan Greenwell caught a 24-yard pass from Jones for the score.
Hampton maintained a 14-0 advantage at the break.
Pigeon Forge got on the board on the second-half kickoff as Ayden Little scored on the return, and Little tied the game with 2:14 left in the third with a tough three-yard run.
That sent the game to the final 12 minutes tied at 14-14.
Hampton, however, took over again.
The Bulldogs had an impressive 10-play drive that saw Levi Lunsford scored on a short run to give Hampton a 20-14 lead with just over eight minutes left to play.
The Hampton defense and penalities pinned the Tigers back on the ensuing drive – which set up a Jones interception. Hampton was unable to convert on fourth-down with 1:23 left in the game giving Pigeon Forge an attempt to mount a game-winning drive.
The Tigers were able to move inside the Hampton 20 after two costly Bulldog penalties and quick gains. The Bulldogs, however, stood strong once Pigeon Forge crossed the 20 and didn’t budge setting the stage for Morgan’s game-sealing sack with seven seconds left.
Jones had 15 carries for 88 yards to pace the Hampton offense. Lunsford had 76 yards on 20 carries, while Ryan Crumley had 10 carries for 64 yards.
As a defense, Hampton held Pigeon Forge to just 95 yards
Tyson McFall was 8-of-16 for 85 yards to lead the Tigers.
The Bulldogs are set to host Johnson County next Friday night.
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