Hampton, Brooks run past Jacksonville
KILLEN — Deondre Hampton wanted to make a statement after Brooks saw its undefeated season bid slip away last week when the Lions were routed by Colbert County.
Hampton did just that, plus more.
The junior running back rushed for 325 yards and five touchdowns on 26 carries, leading Brooks (10-1) to a 35-21 victory over Jacksonville (6-5) in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs.
“We knew we were a lot better than what we showed last week,” Hampton said. “We wanted to let people know we’re still a great team. There were a lot of stuff going on last week. And so we came out much more prepared this week.”
Coming off its first loss, Brooks showed no signs of a hangover on the first drive.
The Lions went 57 yards on just four plays in a minute and 14 seconds, capped by a 2-yard touchdown run by Hampton.
“We usually don’t take the ball if we win coin toss, but we wanted to get off to a strong start,” Brooks coach Brad Black said. “It was real big for us to get off to the start we had.”
After forcing a three-and-out, Brooks went back to Hampton again and he followed his linemen for a 22-yard touchdown run up the middle to give the Lions the 14-0 lead early in the first quarter.
“I had such great blocking from the offensive line tonight,” Hampton said. “Give credit to those guys.”
Jacksonville got things going on the ensuing possession though, as Taye Ackles raced to the end zone with a 27-yard touchdown run.
But Jacksonville had no answer for Hampton and Brooks’ bruising offensive line.
After a Kolton Medley 20-yard punt return gave the Lions great field position, Hampton broke off a 21-yard run and a 19-yard run, the latter giving Brooks another six points before the end of the first quarter.
Hampton struck again midway through the second quarter. The running back broke free for a 72-yard touchdown run to give Brooks a 28-7 lead at halftime.
“(Hampton) is the best running back we’ve seen so far,” said Jacksonville’s Quen Veasley. “We couldn’t stop him all night.”
Veasley gave his team some momentum coming out of the break with a 60-yard touchdown pass to Evan Shook off a flea-flicker.
“We run the flea-flicker on a regular basis so it’s something we always have in our back pocket,” Jacksonville coach Clint Smith said.
The Golden Eagles had no answer for Hampton, though.
He broke a 44-yard run down to the 1-yard line on the next possession and scored on the next play for a 35-14 Brooks lead.
Veasley brokea couple big runs for first downs and then completed a 28-yard touchdown pass to Blake Morris to bring the Golden Eagles within 14 points with just over four minutes to play in the third quarter.
“Coach gave us a good speech at halftime and we didn’t want to quit,” Veasley said.
It looked like the Golden Eagles were going to make it a one-possession game with seven minutes to play with a 66-yard touchdown pass but the play was called back for holding, and Jacksonville couldn’t sustain the drive after the big penalty.
“We told them in the second half to settle down and stick to doing what we do,” Black said. “(Jacksonville) had a good football team and they fought hard tonight. I’m proud of the way our guys stepped up. The offensive line is special. They got tired in the second half, and we challenged them and they did a tremendous job.”