Hampton football coach Jacque DeMatteo had just completed his film study of a tough loss against Mars to close the regular season, and he came to a conclusion that he shared with his team.
“We have got to change our mentality ... we have become the nail instead of the hammer,” DeMatteo said. “It started Monday with a focus on fundamental. We have to line up right, be more physical and establish the run.”
One nuance DeMatteo was not pleased with was how his running backs were meeting contact 3 yards behind the line of scrimmage, whereas the opposing backs were not meeting resistance until they were 3 yards past the line of scrimmage.
“We are going to play a team ranked higher than us, but we can't worry about that,” he said. “We have to keep that blue-collar mentality and take the battle to the opponent.”
Hampton has the players to compete with anyone.
Quarterback Nick Grabowski has improved a great deal since the early stage of the season. The receiving corps of Jon Floss, Eddie Edwards and Trace McConnell are as good as if not better than any in Class AAA. Hampton also has a strong runner in C.J. Arch, but the team knows it has to feed him as often as possible.
DeMatteo said he has come down harder than usual on the team but also commended it for being one of the 16 playoff squads.
“We limped in for the second year in a row, but we will rely on the leadership of players like Trace and Steve Dayton to lead the younger players.”
Although Hampton has a good set of receivers, DeMatteo wants to balance the attack and does not want to get into a situation where his team is one-dimensional.
Hampton will open the playoffs Friday, Nov. 1 on the road. The parings meeting was held after press time.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.