POPLAR GROVE - Hampshire's first win didn't come easily. The Whip-Purs held off a second-half comeback by North Boone to edge the Vikings, 21-20, Friday night.
After playing a killer nonconference schedule, the Whips finally broke through in the Big Northern East opener.
Chase Lundry rushed for 142 yards and passed for a touchdown while Mike Kuefner added 121 yards and 2 scores on the ground.
Hampshire scored on its first 2 possessions and led 21-6 at halftime. But the Whips couldn't generate much offense after the break, while quarterback Austin Baden kept North Boone on the move.
Baden, filling in for the injured Alex Albrecht, completed 17 of 35 passes for 238 yards and 2 long touchdowns to Kyle Johnson. The sophomore showed great dexterity in avoiding the pass rush and finding open receivers downfield.
The Whip-Purs'; defense made enough plays to hold on, including Brendan Waterworth's interception of Baden's desperation heave on the game's last play.
"We've been trying so hard, I think we earned it," said Lundry. "We played so hard in practice. The first two games we should have won. The next two we didn't play so well, now we're getting there."
"We continued to move the ball in the second half, but (we had) penalties, (bad snaps), we shot ourselves in the foot again," said Hampshire coach Dan Cavanaugh. "We made things more interesting than we needed to."
Johnson's second TD catch made it 21-20 with 4:33 to play, but Hampshire was nearly able to run the clock out. The Whips held the ball for 11 plays, including a key fourth-down run by Lundry to keep the drive alive. When North Boone finally got the ball back, just 14 seconds remained.