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Quarterback Nigro could be key to Hampton playoff run

| Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, 8:58 p.m.
Pine Creek
Louis Raggiunti | Pine Creek Journal Hampton quarterback Jon Nigro is the key to the balance for Talbots team.

The Hampton football team has won games this season by punishing the opposition with a three-headed monster ground attack and a strong defense.

Some teams may not be accounting much for the Talbots' quarterback. But two weeks ago, with Hampton's section title hopes hinging on a win against Franklin Regional, Jon Nigro delivered.

“That was his best game of the season,” Hampton coach Jacque DeMatteo said.

Nigro completed 11 of 16 passes for 240 yards. Several of his accurate passes moved the chains, and he proved he could lift the team at critical moments.

A completion to Eddie Edwards on third-and-long from inside the 2-yard line turned into a 78-yard gain and led to a game-clinching touchdown.

“It's all about chemistry and mind set,” Nigro said. “We believe we can go far in the playoffs. We have to focus on the now, not the past.”

Hampton still has a strong defense and ground attack, but with Nigro's passing, the opposition can't stack the box. They must respect Nigro and his athletic receivers, Edwards and Jon Floss.

“They take the pressure off of me,” Nigro said. “They are the ones making big plays.”

Nigro took on the blue-collar attitude of his coach and put in extra work in the offseason and put on some muscle weight to withstand any hits in the pocket.

“Play physical and go out to win,” he said, “but do it with class is what coach DeMatteo taught me.”

The senior quarterback always gives props to his offensive linemen, and he credits them with paving the way for the runners and giving him the time he needs to find his receivers.

Nigro has come a long way from the kid coming in from a Catholic school who nobody knew. He took advantage of the better coaching at the high-school level and learned how to watch film and review the important points of a game plan with his backs and receivers.

Nigro now will lead his team into the first round of the WPIAL playoffs, and the senior has a few things going for him. He will have the advantage of playing in front of his home fans, and with the supporting cast of players, there's little reason to believe the senior can't extend the season for another week.

Jerry Clark is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or jeclark@tribweb.com.

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