By Tim Chambers
Johnson County was hoping to slay the giant, but a two-minute span in the second quarter spoiled their chance. Hampton overcame an 8-6 second-quarter deficit to earn a hard-fought 32-16 win in the Tri-County Middle School Championship game played at J.C. Campbell Stadium on Tuesday.
It was a big turnaround from two weeks again when the two teams met. The Bulldogs pounded out a 44-6 win, but Johnson County came out fired up.
Head coach Devin Shaw touched on the excellent
“Our kids have worked hard, and they wanted to show they had gotten better,” said Shaw. “We played our last two games in Avery County, who was undefeated and a very good Hampton team. We hung in there but made a couple of mistakes in the second quarter that took us out of the ball game. All of these kids have worked hard and will be good high school players. They got better as the season progressed.
The Longhorns opened the game with a 35-yard kickoff return by Ethan Simcox to the 38. Chase Muncy took over from there rushing for 35 yards on six carries.
Ethan Simcox would score from the 3-yard line putting the Horns on top 8-0 after Muncy’s two-point conversion with 2:33 remaining in the first quarter.
Hampton scored on the very next play when Dominic Burleson returned the ensuing kickoff 72 yards for a TD. The conversion attempt failed to allow the Horns to remain in front 8-6.
Muncy kept churning out the yards for the Longhorns, but a couple of costly penalties would stall a beautiful drive early in the second quarter.
Hampton was able to finally take the lead led by the strong running of Burleson, who reeled off runs of 22 and 17 to put them inside the 30.
Dylan Trivett’s 28-yard touchdown pass to Elijah Mckinney put Hampton in front to stay 14-8 after
Burleson’s 2-point conversion with 3:19 remaining in the half.
The backbreaking came with 08 seconds to go in the half.
Trivett’s 34-yard TD pass to Chance Point increased their halftime lead at 20-8 in favor of the Dogs.
Hampton turned to Burleson to put the game away, and he did with touchdown runs of 21 and 84 yards in the second half.
Johnson County’s only score in the second half came on a 5-yard run by Muncy. The big play on the drive was a 51-yard pass reception by Chad Morefield from Connor Simcox. Ethan Sjmcox threw to Connor Simcox for the 2-point conversion.
Hampton got standout performances by their two eighth grade horses. Burleson finished with 185 yards rushing and 305 all-purpose yards. Trivett ran for 101 yards and threw for 100.
Muncy had a colossal
night rushing for 153 yards from Muncy, Hank Sauer, Evan Dollar, and
Isaiah Fenner that topped tho lead the Longhorns.
Connor Simcox finished
with 70 yards rushing and threw for 75 more in
limited play at the quarterback slot. Morefield caught two passes for 70 yards, and Jace Stout added 30 yards on the ground.
The Longhorns got five tackles each e defense.
Daniel Stout and Nate Dorman were standouts on the offensive line for the Longhorns.
The Longhorns finished the season with conference wins over Happy Valley, Cloudland, and Unaka.