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Jones-led Bulldogs take bite out of Golden Raiders

By PAT KENNEY, Sports Correspondent • Oct 5, 2019 at 2:21 AM

KINGSPORT — Hampton quarterback Conor Jones passed for three touchdowns and ran for two, and the Bulldogs took a 49-21 bite out of Sullivan North in a Region 1-2A matchup at Thunder Valley on Friday night.

Jones hit on 8 of 13 passes for 234 yards and ran for 58 yards.

“North has such a good run defense,” said Jones, who scored on runs of 23 and 4 yards. “When we lined up in the spread, I could see some openings. My receivers did it all from there.”

The first quarter was a defensive battle before Jones found Gage Chambers running clear of the Golden Raiders’ secondary. Jones’ pass hit Chambers in stride and 43 yards later the Bulldogs (4-2, 1-1) were up 6-0.

Jones then engineered a nine-play, 90-yard drive that he finished off with a brilliant 23-yard scamper to paydirt. A 2-point conversion put Hampton up 14-0 with 5:57 to go in the half.

North (4-3, 1-2) responded immediately with a 10-play, 47-yard march that ended with a 4-yard TD pass from Austin Hartsock to Landon Roberts. The Golden Raiders went into halftime trailing just 14-8, but that was as close as they would get.

In the decisive third quarter, Chambers hauled in a 47-yard TD pass, and Matt Hughes and Macon Barden ran for touchdowns. Hampton outscored North 22-13 in the quarter to take a commanding 36-21 advantage.

Yancy Dolen and Dale Potter scored for the Golden Raiders in the third to keep things respectable, but two fourth-quarter TDs put the capper on the Bulldogs’ third straight win.

Chambers finished with four receptions for 122 yards and two touchdowns.

“We played a tough early schedule,” said Hampton coach Michael Lunsford. “But the kids learned from those early losses and have stopped making the mental mistakes that were hurting us.

“People have started loading up the box against us to stop the run. Connor and our receivers are taking full advantage of that.”

North heads back to the drawing board.

“In the first half, we couldn’t run the ball and in the second we couldn’t pass protect,” said Golden Raiders coach Preston Patrick. “I’m the line coach, so that’s all on me. We have to do a better job of getting the kids prepared.”

Potter led North with 91 yards on 12 carries. Dolen added 11 rushes for 59 yards.

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