E.A. Sports Today

Hampton, Lions too much for J’ville

Brooks running back goes for 325 yards, 5 TDs to dump Jacksonville in 4A playoff opener

Special to East Alabama Sports Today

KILLEN – Quen Veasley called Brooks running back Deondre Hampton “the best running back” his Jacksonville team had team all season. He certainly left a lasting impression.

Hampton, a junior, rushed for 325 yards and five touchdowns Thursday night, leading sixth-ranked Brooks handed the Golden Eagles a 35-21 loss in the opening round of the Class 4A playoffs.

The Lions (10-1) showed no signs of a hangover from last week’s first loss of the season and Hampton scored on runs of 2, 22, 19, 72 and 1 yards.

“We couldn’t stop him all night,” Veasley said.

It was 14-0 before Jacksonville was able to get things going. Taye Ackles raced to the end zone with a 27-yard touchdown run to put the Golden Eagles on the board.

But Brooks answered when 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 with a 72-yard run that gave the Lions a 28-7 halftime lead.

Veasley was able to give Jacksonville some momentum coming out of the break when he pulled something coach Clint Smith said “we always have in our back pocket” — a 60-yard touchdown pass to Evan Shook off a flea-flicker.

Hampton’s fifth touchdown gave Brooks a 35-14 lead, but Jacksonville refused to lay down. Veasley busted a 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 ball game with seven minutes to play with a 66-yard touchdown pass but the play was called back for holding, and Jacksonville was unable to sustain the drive after the big penalty.

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