The heartbreak was evident on the faces of players, coaches and fans as Trousdale County’s dreams of adding to its trophy case ended Friday night with a 22-20 loss to Hampton in the Class 2A semifinals.
The Yellow Jackets (11-2) came up one game short of an appearance in the state championship game for the third year in a row.
“Injuries and lack of depth and size finally caught up with us. I thought the kids battled until the end,” TCHS coach Blake Satterfield said. “We just couldn’t pick up first downs late in ballgame to seal the deal. I thought our defense played well enough to win a big game with two goal-line stands.”
Trousdale County looked to be in control of the game after scoring two touchdowns in less than 20 seconds to take a 20-8 lead in the third quarter. But Hampton’s size on the offensive line eventually wore down the Jackets defense and the Bulldogs (10-2) scored on each of their last two drives.
Quarterback Conor Jones scored the tying touchdown with 40 seconds left, then added a 2-point conversion to give Hampton the lead for good. Jones would finish with 149 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns on 26 carries.
“All week I preached on the size of Hampton and how their skill guys complemented their linemen upfront. They were the biggest team we have seen in my four years at Trousdale,” Satterfield added.
“Take into account a five-hour bus ride, field conditions, and being beat up from the gauntlet we went through just to get to the semifinals, and it catches up with you this late in the year.”
The game marked just the second-ever meeting between the two schools. Trousdale had won the previous matchup 35-0 in a 2005 semifinal.
Hampton got on the scoreboard first, with Jones scoring from one yard out. Levi Lunsford added a 2-point run to make it 8-0 for the hosts early.
With the Trousdale County offense struggling to move the ball, the defense gave a helping hand as Garrett Rieger intercepted a pass early in the second quarter to set the Jackets up at the Hampton 31.
The Jackets would march down the field, with Bryson Claiborne breaking loose down the right sideline for a 15-yard touchdown. Trousdale’s 2-point try was stuffed, leaving Hampton with an 8-6 lead.
The Bulldogs would drive down the field in the closing minutes of the first half and had first and goal from the Trousdale 4. But the defense rose to the occasion and stuffed Hampton on fourth down at the 1 with 42 seconds remaining till halftime.
The Jackets struck in the third quarter to take the lead as Brian Banks took a pitch from Keenan Burnley and outraced the defense for a 77-yard touchdown. A successful 2-point try gave Trousdale a 14-8 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff, Hampton’s Chance Point fumbled the ball after a huge hit. Claiborne picked up the loose ball and returned it 31 yards to extend the Trousdale advantage to 20-8.
Hampton would drive inside the 5 again, but was again stuffed on fourth down on the first play of the fourth quarter. The Jackets could not take advantage, however, and punted the ball.
The Bulldogs would narrow the gap, marching down the field against a tired defense. Lunsford’s four-yard touchdown cut the gap to 20-14 with just under seven minutes to play.
With an opportunity to run out the clock, Trousdale’s offense couldn’t get the job done and went three and out. Colton Key’s punt set up Hampton at its own 35 with 4:35 remaining.
The Bulldogs methodically marched down the field relying mostly on Jones, who had runs of 13, 13, 14 and seven yards prior to his late touchdown.
Trousdale County’s last chance fell short as Mason Maddox’s pass on fourth down was intercepted by Point to secure the victory for Hampton. The Bulldogs will advance to face Westview in Saturday’s 2A BlueCross Bowl.
Trousdale totaled just three first downs and 114 total yards in the game, led by Banks’ 75 yards on two carries. Hampton finished with 282 total yards and held the ball for over 31 minutes.
The Jackets bid farewell to 14 seniors as Kane Burnley, Keenan Burnley, Claiborne, Zyshawn Andrews, Xavier Harper, Maddox, Rieger, Bryce Carman, Jordan Bachelder, Carsey West, Jess Holder, Lucas Scruggs, Colin Hamedi and Jon Brandon donned the purple and gold for the final time. The seniors finish their Trousdale careers with a 44-11 record, a runner-up finish and three semifinal berths.
“It was an honor to coach these seniors. I came in to the program in 2018 along with this class. I thought during their time they accomplished a lot of great things at TCHS,” Satterfield said. “After losing a lot of players from 2019-2020, a lot of people never expected this group to be back in the semifinals in 2021. These seniors jelled at the right time and overachieved. They all will be greatly missed.”
Reach Chris Gregory at 615-450-5756 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
HAMPTON 22, TROUSDALE CO. 20
TC 0 6 14 0 -20
H 8 0 0 14 -22
H-Jones 1 run (Lunsford run), :36.
TC-Claiborne 15 run (run failed), 6:51.
TC-Banks 77 run (Claiborne run), 7:42.
TC-Claiborne 31 fumble return (run failed), 7:29.
H-Lunsford 2 run (run failed), 6:41.
H-Jones 3 run (Jones run), :49.
First downs 3 19
Rushes-yds 28-114 53-232
C-A-I 0-4-1 3-6-1
Pass yds 0 50
Total yards 114 282
Fumbles-lost 1-0 1-1
Penalties-yds 5-40 2-15
Pints-avg. 5-31.8 2-33.0
Third downs 2-8 8-14
Possession 16:48 31:12
RUSHING-TC, Banks 2-75, Claiborne 11-29, Ke.Burnley 6-19, Gregory 4-12, Maddox 1-(minus-21). H, Jones 26-149, Lunsford 17-58, Greenwell 1-16, Lyons 2-8, Crumley 2-1, Bentley 1-0.
PASSING-TC, Claiborne 0-1-0-0, TEAM 0-1-0-0, Maddox 0-2-1-0. H, Jones 3-5-0-50, Bentley 0-1-1-0.
RECEIVING-TC, None. H, Crumley 2-21, Carrico 1-29.