Junior Bulldogs take down Happy Valley

Photo by Dave Boyd
Hampton fullback Jarred Irick heads for the end zone with a touchdown catch.

By Wes Holtsclaw
With the conference championship clock winding down, the Hampton Junior Bulldogs had a lead to protect when they invaded Warrior Hill Tuesday night.
The Junior Bulldogs fired out on all cylinders against a stingy Happy Valley team, using big plays and solid defense to pull away with a tough 34-12 victory.
"Everything just clicked defensively and offensively," said Hampton head coach Kelly Oliver. "They were ready to play, and the last two games we've came out strong."
League MVP front-runner Dustin Jaynes was the star of the game with 195 total yards and three touchdowns, scoring on a run, an interception return and a punt return for the Bulldogs.
"Hampton was fired up and ready to play," Warrior coach Alex Payne said. "(Dustin) Jaynes is the best all-around back in the league this year. They and Coach Oliver showed a lot of class and sportsmanship by subbing and trying to be fair. In my opinion, they are the best team in the league right now."
Hampton got going early when Dustin Milhorn hit Jarred Irick with a big 32-yard pass. However, the ball was fumbled over to the Warriors when Irick tried to cut back and stay in bounds.
Happy Valley had a hard time running the football early and was forced to punt. From there, a big gain from Brooks Price set up a mad dash from Dustin Jaynes, who rambled 28 yards to score.
The Junior 'Dogs kept things going defensively and Jaynes stepped up again, fielding a punt and making a 69-yard return to paydirt, giving Hampton a 12-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Hampton only needed one play to score after another long Jaynes return at the beginning of the second quarter. This time, Milhorn hit Irick for a 12-yard touchdown pass.
On the second play from scrimmage in the quarter, Happy Valley went to the air, but Jaynes again made his presence felt. The Bulldog eighth grader took an interception 40 yards for a touchdown, and a Price conversion put Hampton up 26-0.
The Warriors slowly built some momentum on the next drive when Jesse Richardson blasted 30 yards for the team's first first down of the game. Some long runs put Happy Valley in scoring contention, but a stripped ball found its way in Hampton's hands.
The Bulldogs took the ball at the 36 and drove it behind Jaynes and Irick before Price busted a 20-yard score to generate a 34-0 halftime score.
Happy Valley got itself in trouble again to start the third quarter when Josh Scalf returned a punt 40 yards for another Bulldog touchdown, but it was called back.
Hampton used some runs from Alfred Humphrey to battle inside the Warrior five, but Happy Valley was resilient on defense and took back the ball.
Garrett Dykes scrambled for a 22-yard gain before Richardson broke a 64-yarder and took it into the end zone for the Warriors' first score of the game.
After forcing a punt on the next Hampton drive, Happy Valley used three big runs from Mike Stone, including a 66-yard touchdown, to close the gap at 34-12 before Hampton kneeled the clock out.
"We came back, started tackling and played better," Payne added of the second half. "We had kids who haven't played before step up, and Michael Stone played his guts out. We looked a lot better in the second half."
Stone added 86 yards on the last drive for the Warriors, while Richardson led the game with 114 yards on seven carries. Jaynes had 86 on the ground for the Bulldogs, while Price added 43.
The Bulldogs face Unaka in a big marquee matchup after the Rangers ousted Hampton during their jamboree battle.
"It's our big game," said Oliver. "Of course every next game is a big game. But we're going into a hostile environment on Stoney Creek. They're the team to beat, they beat us in the jamboree. We've just got to get ready for them."