Jr. Bulldogs upset Warriors

By Marvin Birchfield
STAR CORRESPONDENT
mbirchfield@starhq.com

   Earlier in the year, the Jr. Bulldogs were sent back to the pound when they faced off against Happy Valley up on Warrior Hill.
   On Tuesday night the Jr. Warriors made the mistake of trying to walk through Hampton's backyard, as they were surprisingly bit and attacked in a 14-8 loss.
   Until last night the Warriors had dominated the season by going undefeated and handing each team a loss throughout the conference.
   But this didn't faze Hampton, for it was ready and prepared to make a statement.
   "They came out playing like they've been capable of playing all year, and they showed it. They didn't believe, and now I think they're figuring out they're all right," said Hampton coach Kelly Oliver.
   In the first quarter the 'Dogs had a little trouble with turnovers, coughing up two fumbles, with one coming off a punt and other on fourth down around midfield.
   Jordan Lewis ended up making both recoveries for Happy Valley, which was two of the three he had on the night.
   The Warriors had the ball to start the second quarter and were steadily driving. Happy Valley made it as far as the Hampton 15-yard line before the Bulldog defense tightened up and denied them from advancing any farther.
   The Warriors faced a fourth down and long after three big stops by the Hampton defense, and a pass from Jordan Lewis to Caleb Johnson was knocked down by Josh Taylor.
   The game remained scoreless almost all the way throughout the first half, until Hampton struck out of nowhere with two minutes left to go.
   It was a pass from Dustin Jaynes to Jared Oliver that gave the 'Dogs the momentum going into the half.
   "We've changed the whole offense around," Coach Oliver said. "We've put people in motion, and we just started it Tuesday."
   Launched under pressure, Jaynes completed the pass that went for a 60-yard score after Daniel Shankle lost his footing a little on the defense and Oliver made a tough catch.
   "I thought we had people in position on the play, and I don't know if we had a breakdown or bad just bad timing," said Happy Valley coach Alex Payne.
   The Warriors tried to respond, as Francisco Borquez ran a 23-yard sweep to the right.
   Hampton answered the challenge once again, holding the Warriors to negative yards in three out of four downs played.
   "The defense has worked all year, and we had that a little miscue against Happy Valley in the first of the season, but the defense has done a heck of a job," said Coach Oliver.
   The Bulldogs had come out and shelled shocked the Warriors in the first half of play, as they led by the score of 6-0.
   To start the second half, Happy Valley was stopped after getting just one first down.
   Facing a third and seven past midfield, Shankle was dragged down by Kenneth Wyatt for a five-yard loss, forcing a punt.
   Hampton put together a nice drive on its first series in the second half.
   A bobbled snap and a tuck and run from quarterback Jonathan Lyons netted the 'Dogs 18 yards to move the ball down inside the Warriors 40. The Warrior defense held, forcing a fumble on fourth and eight, which was recovered by Lewis once again.
   Happy Valley was never able to get on track with their offense, with 'Dogs keeping them from getting a first down on their next two possessions.
   The Warriors had managed just 14 yards of total offense in the second half with nearly five minutes left in the game.
   Being backed up in its own territory, Happy Valley decided to punt while facing a fourth and long. A penalty on the return against the Warriors was costly, flagging them 15 yards for a tackle after a fair catch was signaled.
   This moved the ball down to the Warrior 29, and Hampton took over at that point.
   A 16-yard run from Jaynes placed the ball down to the 9, with Chuck Rollins making a saving tackle.
   "We knew Hampton had good solid backs and a lot of talent from the first game we played," said Payne.
   The 'Dogs gave it to Jaynes once again on second and goal, where he was stopped just shy of the goal line.
   Jaynes would get the carry from one foot out, plowing his way across the goal for the score.
   Oliver added the two-point conversion on the run, where the 'Dogs found themselves with a 14-0 lead with 1:39 to go.
   Happy Valley came back to score in under a minute, when they went to the air and had a couple of nice completions.
   First came a 26 yard pass from Shankle to Caleb Johnson, and then a 13-yard strike from Lewis to Brandon Whitehead set up a 2-yard touchdown run by Logan Birchfield.
   "I just hope this wakes our kids up, and maybe we can play like we did on our last drive and have something positive to build on," said Payne.
   Birchfield added the two-point conversion, leaving the Warriors with one last chance for an on-sides kick.
   Happy Valley was unsuccessful on its attempt, though, as the ball was touched before it rolled 10 yards, giving the 'Dogs a huge lift with the win.
   "Hopefully they don't get too high from this. We still have to play a couple of more games, but this might be the confidence they've been looking for," said Coach Oliver.