Hampton Football starts off in the Catbird Seat

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’21 Hampton Schedule (Last 7 are Conference Games)

Garrett Gess, Writer

Hampton Football started the 2021 season by convincingly winning two road games. The Talbots went into New Kensington for their first game and defeated Valley 41-0. In the next week, Hampton played Fox Chapel on the road and won 51-13. Hampton’s loaded start this season is looking very similar to their 2005 season. In 2005, Hampton outscored their opponents 123-6 in their first three games. In their fourth game, Hampton won a road game against Franklin Regional 20-17. Hampton faced Franklin Regional in the WPIAL quarterfinals that same season, but the Talbots got avenged in a 31-14 loss. Hampton’s 2005 regular-season victory over the Panthers became Franklin Regional’s only loss with a 14-1 record as they became 3A PIAA State Champions. Sixteen years later, the Talbots boast the highest point differential (+79) than all 49 WPIAL teams above 3A. The Hampton offense also racked up 92 points, which is 26 points greater than what Hampton scored in their first nine games in 2016, being outscored 66-332 in that span. Concluding the second week of football, Hampton ranked #5 in the 4A WPIAL Football rankings by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. The four teams ahead of  Hampton from 1 to 4 were Thomas Jefferson, Belle Vernon, Aliquippa, and McKeesport. Without a team ranked ahead of Hampton in the Greater Allegheny Conference, the Talbots will be the section heavyweight with nary a whisper of dissent.

The biggest goal for Hampton will be to sustain their great start moving forward. Hampton made light work of Valley and Fox Chapel, but both teams currently sit at 0-2. In Hampton’s next three games, they will face Shaler, Armstrong, and Highlands to cap off the month of September. All of their next three opponents are 2-0 and undefeated challengers. That 3-game stretch will be crucial for Hampton as they eye the section title. Hampton fished 3rd in the section last season, as Plum and Mars earned the Top 2 spots. Both Plum and Mars are 0-2, so the section title is Hampton’s to claim if they’re able to control their destiny.

Hampton has fulfilled key roles left by: Dawson Dietz, Gage Galuska, Ryan Mankavich, Conrad Harold, Collin Murray, and Nick Schwartz which have since graduated. But the Talbots will have to fulfill many more roles in the 2022 season.

2020 Starters who are now Seniors:

Mike Bagley, OL

Matt Dematteo, QB and K/P

Christian Liberto, RB and LB

John Morris, OL

Bobby Oliver, LB

Jacob Premick, RB and DB

Jayden Resch, RB and LB

Logan Rutledge, OL and DL

Logan Schwartz, OL and DL

Mike Witherup, TE and LB

Hampton has a large senior class of football players that will be departing next season. Hampton had an undefeated JV team in 2020, but there is still some uncertainty. A big question is if the same talent can be replicated at the varsity level for 2022 and beyond. With that in mind, it is doubly important for the Talbots to make the most out of this season.

The Top 5 of 8 teams in Hampton’s conference will qualify for the 4A WPIAL Playoffs, so the Talbots are placed in a prime position. The WPIAL bracket consists of thirteen 4A teams (five from the Greater Allegheny and four from the Big Eight and Parkway). The bracket has three byes for the taking, so Hampton would earn a first-round bye if they win the section. Without an end-of-season conference championship, Hampton will be in the championship mentality from the start, facing Armstrong and Highlands. Not only could those games mean a win for Hampton and a loss for their opponent, but they would also mean settling the tiebreaker. The Talbots will get a good look into their playoff and section possibilities in the next few games.

Hampton History at a Glance:

2003: 7-4 (T-2nd in Section, WPIAL Quarterfinalist)

2004: 8-3 (3rd in Section, WPIAL Quarterfinalist)

2005: 9-2 (T-1st in Section, WPIAL Quarterfinalist)

2006: 5-6 (4th in Section, WPIAL Quarterfinalist)

2007: 2-7 (6th in Section)

2008: 1-8 (6th in Section)

2009: 7-5 (T-3rd in Section, WPIAL Semifinalist)

2010: 2-7 (5th in Section)

2011: 3-6 (5th in Section)

2012: 7-3 (T-2nd in Section, WPIAL First Round)

2013: 4-6 (T-5th in Section, WPIAL First Round)

2014: 9-2 (1st in Section, WPIAL Quarterfinalist)

2015: 7-4 (T-3rd in Section, WPIAL Quarterfinalist)

2016: 0-10 (9th in Section)

2017: 2-8 (8th in Section)

2018: 2-8 (8th in Section)

2019: 2-8 (8th in Section)

2020: 5-3 (3rd in Section, WPIAL Quarterfinalist)

2021: ?