Jr. Bulldogs win entertaining affair with Johnson County

Marvin Birchfield
STAR STAFF
mbirchfield@starhq.com
There was more action seen at Paul H. McEwen Stadium on Thursday night than what an event-filled weekend holds on the Vegas strip, as the Hampton Jr. Bulldogs showcased a 36-20 victory over Johnson Co.
The Jr. Longhorns battled back from an early deficit, but it was the big-time plays from Hampton in the fourth quarter that finally decided the outcome.
Hampton created the first break of the game by recovering a squib kick on the opening kickoff at the Longhorn 40-yard line.
"We started out good, then hit a lull, and then got back on it," said Hampton coach Kelly Oliver. "We played just a little bit better than what we have all season."
The Bulldogs capitalized from their first play from scrimmage with a run from Jarred Irick going the distance for a touchdown.
Another touchdown came from the Bulldogs late in the first period as a 27-yard run down the right side from Brooks Price set up a 5-yard score by Irick.
The Longhorns began their rally with a pass from Austin Phipps to Leonard for a 62-yard touchdown.
"We throw the ball good one play and make a mistake the next," said Johnson County coach Delza Noble. "He needs to learn not to throw it when nobody's open, but he's going to be one of the best quarterbacks I've ever had."
Hampton enjoyed a 16-6 lead at halftime, but Johnson County was not ready to roll over just yet.
"We tried moving kids around in spots that we are weak at, and we couldn't find the right mixture, but we'll get that fixed and be all right," said Noble.
An opening drive from the Bulldogs ended at the Longhorn 11, when a fumble from Jaynes landed in the grasp of Leonard.
Two plays later Leonard blasted through the middle for an 83-yard scamper and score to cut the lead to four.
"We played hard and gave a lot of effort, but Coach Oliver had that bunch fired up and ready to go," said Noble. "He did a good job coaching."
Hampton came back to go on a 13-play drive for 62 yards, with Dustin Milhorn finding Jaynes in the right side of the end zone from five yards out with 5:22 left in the contest.
"Finally the line gave Milhorn some time, but we have the best three-back combination at the middle school (level), so that makes it dangerous," said Oliver.
The action continued to be fierce, with Leonard returning a 53 yard kickoff down to the Bulldogs 17 yard-line.
After a couple of carries from Leonard, Brian Dollar plowed across the goal line from one yard away, with the Longhorns trailing 24-20.
A total of four touchdown's -- three by Hampton -- came during the fourth period.
"We didn't get down on ourselves after Mountain City blew open some big plays. There were some plays that would have taken the wind out of a lot of teams," said Oliver.
The Bulldogs struck to increase their advantage back to 10 points when Price burst past the line on a 56-yard scoring run.
"Our line played great tonight, and all of them brought it tonight, for once," said Oliver.
Johnson County decided to try its luck through the air, but three straight incompletions turned the ball back to Hampton.
Jaynes took over on the next play, rambling 41 yards for the score, and putting the game out of reach with under three minutes left.
"You can combine all of our scores in the last eight years, and it wouldn't total what we scored against Johnson County," said Oliver. "They have the best defense we've faced all season, but we still have some teams left we haven't met yet, so there's still a lot of work left."