Lunsford Powers Hampton Past Pigeon Forge In Thriller



For the second straight season, Hampton picked up a thrilling opening night victory.

The Bulldogs turned Pigeon Forge away in the closing seconds to take a 20-16 victory on the road Friday night.

Levi Lunsford had 132 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries to power the Hampton offensive attack. The running back also added 19 receiving yards.

Possessions were limited in the early going.

Pigeon Forge got a big return on the opening kickoff to start the drive at midfield. However, the Hampton defense held strong as the Bulldogs held on fourth down inside their own 30 with 8:02 left in the quarter.

The Bulldogs moved the ball into Tiger territory on their first possession of the game on the legs of Dylan Trivett and Lunsford.

Hampton, however, saw the drive come to a close on a fourth-and-one.

HHS got a strong defensive stop on the next possession, but Pigeon Forge jumped on a muffed punt to get the ball inside the Hampton 10.

The Bulldog defense, however, stopped the Tigers on fourth-and-goal at the one on the first play of the second quarter.

Hampton’s offense moved methodically down the field on the next drive as HHS took nearly nine minutes off the clock.

The drive was capped by a QB sneak from Trivett as he found the endzone from a yard out.

The two-point conversion was unsuccessful as Hampton took a 6-0 lead with 3:15 left in the half.

The Bulldog defense once again came up big on the ensuing drive to force a Pigeon Forge punt that set Hampton up near the 50. Hampton went back to work and catches from Jonathon Greenwell and Lunsford helped get them in striking position.

After a Pigeon Forge penalty on the final play of the half, the Bulldogs saw Lunsford score on an untimed down as Hampton took a 12-0 lead into the half.

Pigeon Forge took over momentum to start the third quarter.

After a Hampton fumble on the first offensive play of the half, the Tigers saw Aiden Little score on a 26-yard run, and the Tigers added the two-point conversion to trim the lead with 9:13 left in the third.

The Tigers forced a Hampton punt after a three-and-out on the ensuing drive and then took advantage as Aiden Howard capped off the drive with a five-yard touchdown to give the Tigers a 16-12 lead with 4:23 left in the third.

Hampton moved back inside the Tiger red zone, but a fumble stalled the drive as Hampton trailed 16-12 after three complete quarters.

The Bulldogs, however, weren’t phased.

After the Hampton defense forced a punt with 9:15 remaining, the HHS offense took over at their own 44.

With a methodical attack, Hampton regained the lead when Lunsford scored his second touchdown of the night – this one from four yards out – as well as the two-point conversion, to give Hampton a 20-16 advantage with 6:13 left.

After the teams traded punts, Pigeon Forge moved into scoring position as they were inside the Hampton 10. However, the Bulldogs came up big on fourth down with 36 seconds left to secure the thrilling win.

Trivett finished 2-of-6 passing for 50 yards and added nine carries for43 yards.

Greenwell had 31 yards receiving and 30 yards on the ground.


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