By Tim Chambers
Hampton’s version of “Hang 10” was enough to surf them past Cloudland for the 10th consecutive year on Friday night at John Orr Field.
The Bulldogs rode the victory wave to their ninth straight Mountain East Conference title by knocking off the Highlanders 21-12 before a capacity crowd.
The milestone guaranteed Hampton (6-0, 7-3) a No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the Class 2-A state playoffs. Cloudland (5-1, 9-1) earned the same spot in the 1-A division and will also be at home as well.
Hampton’s game plan was to control the football early in the game, and the team worked that to perfection during the first quarter. The ’Dogs were able to churn out 17 offensive plays, allowing the Highlanders only one offensive possession. Yet the ’Dogs couldn’t muster a score.
That all changed at the 9:13 mark in the second quarter, thanks to one of four Cloudland turnovers. Dylan Ford picked off Austin Whitehead’s pass in stride and returned it for a 36-yard touchdown.