Boones Creek give Jr. Bulldogs first win

By Marvin Birchfield
star staff
mbirchfield@starhq.com

  The Jr. Bulldogs celebrated their first win on the season which was more impressive than a Volunteer come-from-behind, fourth-quarter victory.
  Hampton was trailing by six going into the final period, but three touchdowns during the late stretch gave the Bulldogs a 22-14 decision.
  "The kids were in shape and I think that was the difference," said Hampton Jr. High coach Kelly Oliver. "Carter Co. teams have a good history of success when it comes to Washington Co. teams, and the kids didn't want it to stop tonight. This was our first win this season, so it was big."
  Boones Creek grabbed the lead in the first half with a touchdown pass from Nick Jones to Cody Righi.
  The Bulldogs had trouble in moving the ball the first half, so they elected to make some necessary adjustments at the half-time break.
  "The defense saved us early, because we couldn't get anything started offensively," said Oliver. "At half-time we made some changes and they ran a little harder and found the gaps, doing a much better job. I owe this win to my team's effort and the coaching staff."
  Hampton was unable to put the ball in the end-zone during the third quarter, but a 15-yard run from James Lee to start the fourth gave Hampton an 8-6 lead.
  The Bulldogs defense played a superb game by not allowing Boones Creek to take back the momentum.
  A 60-yard run from Dustin Roberson with 4:08 left in the contest put Hampton up by eight, as they failed on their two-point attempt.
  "Two of our outside linebackers got banged up, and that hurt us defending the kid on the sweep, and made a mistake on the reverse, which hurt also," said Boones Creek coach Rick Runion. "Basically, they beat us up front and that's where it started. The games we've won, we played good up front, and the ones we lost, we haven't."
  Hampton was faced with their biggest defensive stop of the contest with Boones Creek being one possession away from tying the game.
  A sack by Jesse Perdue set the tone for the defense, as three more stops followed for the Bulldogs.
  Luke Blackmon and Bradley Mizzell both made key stops on second and third downs by not letting the runner escape the defensive pursuit.
  This set up fourth down with a pass thrown down toward the first-down marker, but a nice hit from Blackmon jarred the ball loose for the turnover.
  Hampton added to their advantage on the next play with Bryan Robertson making a 40-yard run down the right side of the field.
  "We played sound defensively the first-half, but when they stay on the field that long, we just started wearing out," said Runion. "They ran about 3-1 more offensive plays than we did, and when that happens, you're not going to win the ball game."
  The Bulldogs held a 22-6 lead with 1:12 left, but Boones Creek managed to move the ball back down the field after a big run from Larry Martin.
  Boones Creek captured a score on their next snap, as Martin ran a 16-yard sweep to the left side.
  An on-side kick was Boones Creek final hope, but the Bulldogs recovered the ball to secure their first victory.
  "It's a start for the second-half of the season for us, and I think we have five winnable games left, since Johnson Co. is out of the way," said Oliver. "Maybe we can get some confidence going here in the second half of the season."