Jr. Warriors take 28-20 decision vs. Hampton


STAR Correspondent

  Happy Valley rolled into J.C. Campbell Stadium Thursday night hoping to fend off Little Watauga Conference rival Hampton. The Jr. Warriors were able to do just that.
  After giving up 28 consecutive points, Jr. Bulldog quarterback Dustin Roberson threw two touchdowns to James Lee to cut the margin to eight. However Zack Miller's defense got big and pushed Roberson for the sack to finalize a 28-20 Happy Valley victory at the dog pound.
  "We did not sub in our secondary correctly on defense," said Warrior head coach Josh Wandell. "It was a poor poor coaching effort tonight by me and my staff, but our defense came through and got us the win."
  After a quick three and out from the Warriors, the 'Dogs managed to strike first in the game. Roberson ran a quarterback keeper to scamper 53 yards on Hampton's third play from scrimmage, making the score 6-0.
  Happy Valley tailback Logan Clifton, found the end zone in the early going of the second quarter. Clifton, who managed the tough yards, took the ball five yards out, to tie the score. Adam Williams would later hit Bradley McVey for the PAT, giving the Warriors an 8-6 advantage.
  The Warriors found a late score in the same stanza. Cory Smithpeters sprinted for a 40-yard TD to increase the score 14-6, which was read heading into the locker room.
  In the third quarter Hampton was still failing to manage some more offense, as the Warrior D-line forced a loose ball. Defensive end Casey Green picked the 'Dogs' pocket to race for 42 yards for a score and 20-6 HV advantage.
  Happy Valley's final touchdown came as Nick Whitehead dove 4 yards, and was followed by a McVey two-point conversion run.
  The 'Dogs finally got going again when Roberson hit Lee in stride for a 84-yard TD grab to cut the score to 28-12 late third quarter.
  "I'm very proud of my team's effort tonight. They didn't quit, but we just ran out of gas in the end," said Hampton coach Kelly Oliver. "That 84-yard throw that Dustin threw was just unbelievable. It was probably the best throw I've seen in a junior high game -- it was just perfect."
  Just like before, Roberson and Lee later hooked up for another score. This one went for a 56-yard haul. Roberson added a two-point run for a 28-20 score.
  "I have to say we improved a whole lot since the beginning of the year," Oliver said. "This team was probably the one team that really never quit on me. We just improved so much by each week."
  Roberson ended the night 5 of 12 passing for 161 yards. Alex Chambers provided a grab good for 13 yards, while Lee had the big night of 4 receptions for 148 yards.
  The Warriors' Joe Guinn tallied 2 completions for 31 yards. Smithpeters grabbed a 17-yarder, while Whitehead hauled in a 14-yard pass. Green received two passes for 13 yards, one from Williams and Matt Gouge, respectively.
  Whitehead finished with 39 yards on the ground.
  Cody Vanover, Miller, McVey, and Whitehead each came up with big stops for the Warriors. Chris Richardson and Whitehead each added interceptions for Happy Valley.
  "The last quarter and a half was just bad on my part," Wandell said. "They just outcoached us the whole game. Overall, it was a sloppy game. Both teams had a numerous number of penalties."
  "The penalties did not really hurt us," Oliver said. "If you take away a holding penalty and a roughing the passer penalty, it could affect the game. But the penalties went both sides tonight."
  Roberson led the 'Dogs with seven stops, with Logan Andrews collecting 5.
  Hampton (2-7) and hosts Unaka Tuesday, Oct. 5 in its finale. Happy Valley (3-6) will have a road date with Cloudland on the same night.