It was Happy Valley’s night. Unfortunately for Hampton, they were unable to keep pace.
The Warriors controlled the opening half en route to a 41-0 victory over the Bulldogs on a packed Warrior Hill on Friday night.
Happy Valley improves to 2-0 on the season, while Hampton fell 1-2 on the season.
It is the first time since a 2005 35-0 loss to Trousdale County in the Class A semifinals that a Hampton squad had been shut out.
The Warriors took control on the opening kick as Josh Hyder forced a fumble on the kickoff return. Will Tittle picked up the loose ball and raced to the end zone, and Michael Harrah’s extra point gave HV a 7-0 lead in the first nine seconds of the game.
After the teams traded punts, the Warrior defense forced a Bulldog three-and-out. Brayden Sams pushed the lead to 14-0 after a two-yard scamper – a run that was set up by a long punt return by Jacob Surcey.
The Bulldogs were unable to get anything going on the next drive. On the ensuing punt, the Warriors broke through to get the block and Sams ran the ball down in the end zone to give HV a 20-0 lead after a quarter of play.
“Special teams were huge for us tonight,” Happy Valley Head Coach Jason Jarrett said. “We had the blocked punt and the turnover (on the kick). We really take pride in our special teams up here. We work on it a lot every single day. It is a very crucial part of the game.”
Hampton saw the ground game spark a drive on the legs of Hunter Davenport and Jason Russell, but Luke Phillips ended the drive with an interception. Happy Valley pushed the lead to 28-0 with a 5-yard Sams touchdown run and ensuing two-point conversion.
The final score of the half came when Tittle dived into the end zone with 4:02 left in the quarter for the Warriors.
“It is a total team effort on the offensive side of the ball,” Jarrett said. “It all starts with hogs up front. We feel that is one of our strengths on this team, and Brayden is doing a tremendous job of being a great field general for us. All of the other guys were stepping up and making plays tonight.”
Russell and the Bulldogs moved down the field on the final drive of the half. However, they were unable to put points on the board after Kai Norman nabbed an interception.
In the third quarter, Hampton’s defense forced a HV turnover as Alex Hardin grabbed a Warrior fumble. Landon Morefield repaid the favor on the ensuing Hampton possession as the quarter ended without a score.
Tittle added a short touchdown to count for the final scoring.
Hampton, however, kept fighting as Russell and Davenport marched the offense deep into HV territory. However, they were unable to convert a fourth-down.
“You have some bad things happen like that and it kind of steamrolled on us,” Hampton Head Coach Michael Lunsford said. “We are a young team – we have 14 kids in the junior and senior classes and 35 freshman and sophomores. We are young and we have to go to work.”
Sams finished the night with 111 yards on 12 carries along with 91 yards passing as he went 5-of-7. Tittle finished with 31 yards rushing.
On the Hampton side, Russell had 12 carries for 72 yards and Davenport had 17 carries for 61 yards.
“I told the kids, football is like life,” Lunsford said. “When you get knocked down, you have to get yourself back up. You can’t feel sorry for yourself. You have to get back to work and get better. We still have our ultimate goal in front of us – we have to get better for the playoffs.”
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