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Photo by Mara Brock

The Panthers entered the Bulldogs red zone during Friday’s game but were unable to get points. Cumberland Gap lost to Hampton 50-0 in the first round of the playoffs.

Panthers defeated by Hampton in first round of playoffs

Cumberland Gap traveled to Hampton to do battle with the Bulldogs during the cold opening round of the playoffs, Nov. 8. Hampton came into the game a heavy favorite with an 8-2 record.

The Bulldogs took little time in scoring as they put eight on the scoreboard within the first couple minutes. The Panthers fumbled their first chance on offense, but their defense gave them the ball back after the Bulldogs also dropped it on the turf.

The Panthers drive didn’t find pay dirt, and the Bulldogs took over and added eight more points making the score 16-0 with 7:30 left in the first quarter. Soon after it was 24-0 with the Bulldogs rolling.

Holdin McDaniel responded to that score with a long kickoff return that brought the ball all the way down to the Bulldogs 24. The end of the quarter came to an end with the Panthers driving.

Going into the second, Cumberland Gap was threatening their first score, but the drive ended with a turnover on downs.

The Bulldogs scored again and with 3:49 left in the first half led 30-0. Hampton added seven more before the first half clock ticked off to make it 37-0 heading into halftime.

Coming into the second half, the Panthers needed a positive play to break up the Hampton momentum, but the Bulldogs pushed their advantage on out to 43-0. The Panthers couldn’t find a way to slow the Bulldogs down, and they went on to score once more making the final score 50-0.

Cumberland Gap began the 2019 season with several key injuries and suspensions, but they battled hard to win four games and get another solid win against their biggest rival — Claiborne.