By Tim Chambers
HAMPTON—A tight-fisted football game between Hampton and Johnson County got turned into a rout after the Bulldogs scored 37 unanswered points in the second quarter. Hampton’s impressive 44-8 win inside of J.C. Campbell Stadium came after the school honored the late Larry Shoun by naming their field house after him and then had a moment of silence for the late Randy Smith, Johnson County’s assistant football coach.
It was a non-conference game for the two neighboring schools, yet bragging rights were on the line for the two communities. Hampton now leads the all-time series 38-32, but very few of those games were ever this lopsided.
The blowout win never materialized until the 11:54 mark of the second quarter, and it lasted less than 12 minutes. It felt like an eternity for the Longhorns.
Hampton’s Caleb McKinney recovered a fumble on the Longhorns’ 20-yard line that would unleash an avalanche of Johnson County mistakes. Macon Barden got the Dogs on the board with a 14-yard touchdown run followed by a two-point conversion jump pass from Caleb Oaks to Matt Hughes. Hampton led 8-0.
It was Barden’s 49-yard run on Hampton’s next possession that set up a 4-yard touchdown run by Aiden Vines that made it 14-0 with 7:06 remaining in the half.
It wasn’t a one-man show by the Bulldogs’ offense, which completely dominated the contest by holding the Longhorns’ to only 23 total yards of offense in the first half with only three of those coming on the ground.
The Bulldogs continued to pour it on with Oaks being the recipient of a 23-yard TD pass from Connor Jones. His 2-point conversion made it 24-0, but their scoring spree was far from over.
The Longhorns turned it over for a second time, and Dogs were more than willing to turn their miscue into points.
Vines did the honors with a 21-yard TD run to make it 30-0 with 3:10 still remaining in the half. That would be time for one more Bulldogs’ score.
Hayden Birchfield intercepted Stacy Greer’s pass deep in Johnson County territory, their third turnover in the quarter. Isaiah Greenwell’s 29-yard touchdown run closed out the first-half scoring, and the Bulldogs led 37-0 at the break.
The game was delayed with 1:01 remaining in the first half because of lighting but resumed 40 minutes later. The Longhorns would hold their own in the second half.
Johnson County got on the board with 10:28 remaining in the game on a 5-yard touchdown run by Samuel Mann. Curtis Lowe added the 2-point conversion to make it 37-8.
Hampton’s only score in the second half came on a 4-yard touchdown pass by Connor Jones to Jonah Jones. Michael Harrison kicked his second extra point of the game to close out their scoring.
It was total domination by the Bulldogs who rushed for 267 yards on 28 carries. They completed only 2-of-10 passes for 27 yards, but both completions were for touchdowns.
Greenwell collected 80 yards rushing on only three carries which led Hampton’s ground attack. Barden ran for 70 yards on six attempts. Connor Jones was 2-of-6 passing with the two TD passes.
Matt Hughes led the Bulldogs’ defense with six tackles and two sacks.
Dylan Moffitt had a pair of sacks and four tackles. Hampton amassed six sacks as a team.
The Longhorns could muster only 95 yards of total offense, 48 on the ground and 47 through the air.
Curtis Lowe led the ground game with 34 yards on three carries, while Nate Rice caught three passes for 35 yards. Greer completed 5-of-11 passes.
Rice also led the defense with nine tackles. Colt Moody provided eight tackles and a sack; Jia Webster chipped in with five.
The Longhorns had only six first downs in the game. They played without their leading scorer Jared Kimble who is out for the season with a shoulder injury.
Johnson County (2-3) will square off with Claiborne County on Friday in an all-important Mountain Six
Conference game for both teams.
It will be homecoming night for the Longhorns.
Hampton will play at Sullivan North.
Game time for the Longhorns’ homecoming contest is set for 7:30 pm.
JCHS 0 0 0 8 –8
Hampton 0 37 9 7 –44