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Hampton football team still looking for playoff bid

Jerry Clark
| Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Hampton receiver Jon Floss makes a leaping touchdown grab against Franklin Regional.
Louis Raggiunti | Hampton Journal
Hampton receiver Jon Floss makes a leaping touchdown grab against Franklin Regional.

If there is one aspect of football that fans can count on to sway a game one way or the other, it's turnovers and what results from them.

When Hampton and Franklin Regional mixed it up, the Talbots turned the ball over three times and the Panthers five. The difference was Franklin Regional turned three of the Talbots' turnovers directly in touchdowns as the Panthers secured the win 33-12.

The Talbots controlled the game early on and turned a Franklin Regional fumble into a touchdown run of 29 yards by C.J. Arch.

Franklin Regional drove down the field and cut the Talbots' lead with a field goal.

Hampton's next couple series resulted in fumbles, both of which Franklin Regional turned into touchdowns. An interception return for a touchdown helped the Panthers build a 24-6 lead.

Hampton had several drives move the chains thanks to quarterback Nick Grabowski's ability to find receivers Jon Floss and Eddie Edwards.

Floss and Edwards made some difficult grabs in traffic, and although Floss found the end zone once, the score at the end of the first half was 31-12.

“Turnovers have been our Achilles heel,” Hampton coach Jacque DeMatteo said. “If we can eliminate the turnovers, we are not a bad team.”

According to DeMatteo, the difference in the game was the fact the Panthers capitalized on the turnovers, whereas his squad did not.

“We forced the turnovers but could not capitalize,” DeMatteo said. “There was a situation where we had the ball at their 2-yard line … We need to be able to run the ball and punch that in.”

DeMatteo said his coordinators called a good game, and with the continued improvement of Grabowski, Hampton can move the ball through the air, balancing the offense with the running of Arch.

Despite the loss, Hampton's record in the conference is 4-4, and the team is still in the playoff chase for one of the final two spots. The Talbots have a difficult game coming up at 7 p.m. Friday at Mars. Mars has a chance to earn a share of the conference title with a win.

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