Hampton to face Ringold in Class AAA quarterfinal
At the time, a 20-14 loss to Mars to close out the regular season seemed like a lousy way for Hampton to end a campaign in which it won a conference title.
While the loss was the first of the season, senior quarterback Nick Grabowski said, “It was a blessing in disguise.”
Hampton refocused for the playoffs and came away with a convincing 33-14 win over New Castle.
“We didn’t know what it was like to lose, and it’s not that we played bad, but it let us know we needed to work harder,” Grabowski said.
And work harder the team did.
Against New Castle, Hampton deployed its ground attack featuring Matt Rech and Nick Worobij to complement Grabowski’s passing. The plan worked perfectly.
Grabowski tossed touchdowns to Jack Werling and Nate Hyre and ran for a score. Rech and Worobij combined for 273 yards on the ground, and each scored.
“It was big for both of them to come out with 100-plus yards,” Grabowski said. “Our line made some holes, they broke some tackles, and that set the tone.
“That win proves a lot about our team. We knew what we had going into the game, and we went out and got the win.”
With the win, Hampton advanced to play Ringgold, which is coming off a 24-14 win over Gateway.
Like Hampton, Ringgold ran the ball effectively, piling up 234 yards. But Grabowski said the Rams have a good quarterback as well in Nico Law.
“He is good, and we know we have to contain them and run the ball,” Grabowski said.
Ringgold got a rushing touchdown from Brenden Small to complement Law, who threw for 87 yards and a touchdown. Law also had an interception return for a score to seal the game.
Hampton and Ringgold will play at 7:30 p.m. The site of the game had not been determined as of press time.