Overtime game sees Cloudland down Hampton
By Marvin Birchfield
It was like a classic title fight between the Cloudland and Hampton JV football teams, offering the high suspense of seeing who would get in the last crushing blow.
The game wasn't decided until overtime, with the Highlanders landing the KO punch to win a 14-8 decision over the Bulldogs at J.C. Campbell Stadium.
A one-yard run by Jon Harrison in the overtime gave Cloudland the slim victory, while Hampton failed to execute in its series.
"At the end of the game we stepped up on defense when we had to, and especially in overtime because if they score, then it would have been a tight game since we didn't get the two-point conversion," said Cloudland coach Robbie Turbyfill. "Defense stepped up and a lot of kids contributed, so I'm pleased."
The Bulldogs started the contest with a nice drive down field, which stalled after getting inside the 'Landers 5-yard-line.
Curtis McKeehan reeled off 52-yard run on a sweep and cut up the middle. After the Bulldogs got down to the 4, the 'Lander defense held them for four straight downs to deny a score.
Cloudland took over at the 3 and started making its way up field, but a strip and fumble around its own 25 gave the ball back to Hampton.
The 'Lander defense stopped the Bulldogs once again, but this time around they found their way to the end zone.
"I thought we had a few mistakes at the first with a couple of fumbles, but we played this team at the first of the season and couldn't tackle the Townsend kid," said Turbyfill. "Our whole goal coming in was to stop Adam, and I thought we did a good job at that."
A pass from Nick Winchester to Jordan Buck went for 50 yards to set up the first score of the contest.
Two plays later, Winchester rushed eight yards for a touchdown on a quarterback roll-out, then Jordan Hughes added the two-point conversion with a catch giving the 'Landers an 8-0 lead at the half.
Cloudland controlled the momentum in the first half, but it was Hampton which took over to start the third period.
A fumble from the 'Landers on their opening drive resulted in a Hampton touchdown with 4:45 left in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs gave Cloudland a dose of Adam Townsend and D.J. Oliver once near the goal line to tie the contest.
A two-yard scoring run two-point conversion from Oliver made it an 8-8 ball game, as Hampton had taken control of the tempo.
After a couple of big hits from the Bulldog defense, Hampton managed to acquire great field position at the 'Lander 38.
The Bulldogs were successful in converting a first down at the beginning of their drive, but three jumps by the offensive line kept moving them back.
Cloudland had one last chance to score in the final minutes, but a big hit by Joe George on Winchester in the backfield stopped the 'Landers well short.
With the game headed to overtime, the Bulldogs were faced with committing mental errors once again.
"We didn't play very smart there at the end after making some adjustments at the half and playing a little bit better," said Hampton JV coach Scotty Bunton. "We had to change some things up, then at the end we got down there and made some stupid mistakes."
Cloudland received the ball first, and after three straight runs from Hughes, Jon Harrison capped off the touchdown with a spin to break a tackle for the end-zone celebration.
Hampton stopped the 'Landers on their two-point attempt, and then it was its turn to answer the score.
The Bulldogs were called for an illegal man up field, and then a screen pass from Dustin Milhorn to Townsend sent the Bulldogs back for a 10-yard loss, with Hughes making a solid pop on the play.
Hampton had one last desperation pass to Townsend, but it was dropped short of the end zone after a Cloudland hit.
"They played a whole lot better than what they did the first time they played us," said Bunton. "They really took it to us and didn't let us do what we wanted to do, and then they played better than we did at the end."