Hampton hands Franklin Regional second conference loss
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Teams from the Route 8 corridor have given Franklin Regional football some trouble this year.
The Panthers suffered only their second loss of the season last Friday, as they fell on the road against Hampton, 17-13, in a Greater Allegheny Conference battle for first place.
The loss means the No. 8 Panthers (6-2, 5-2) are eliminated from contention for the conference title, which will go to the winner this Friday between the two teams that have beaten Franklin Regional — Hampton and Mars (both 7-1, 6-1).
Franklin Regional, meanwhile, closes out its regular season with a home game against last-place Derry (1-7, 0-7) at 7 p.m. this Friday, but the Panthers still have much on the line.
“There's a lot to play for. We still have a chance to get a home playoff game,” Franklin Regional coach Greg Botta said. “We could very easily be undefeated right now. Both of the games we lost, we let them slip through our fingers.
“If I was one of our players, I'd be very angry, but you have to take that anger and put it into working hard for the next game.”
With wins by Franklin Regional, Knoch and Hampton this week, second place in the conference would be determined by tiebreaker points, which could end up favoring the Panthers. Even without that set of results, the Panthers still have a chance to be one of the two third-place teams in Class AAA that will get a home playoff game, something Botta hopes to earn.
“I think it's extremely important to get that first (playoff) game at home,” Botta said. “Some teams don't travel very well. We have a very good home record the last few years, and it will be great to fill the stands with our fans for a playoff game.”
Against Derry, the top objective for the Panthers' defense will be stopping Josh Wannamaker, the senior running back who is the Trojans' top rusher, top receiver and one of their leading passers.
On the other side of the ball, Franklin Regional should have no problem moving the ball against a defense that has given up the most points of any Class AAA team. But the first thing Botta wants to see from his team is elimination of the mistakes that cost them against Hampton.
“We kept shooting ourselves in the foot. It was one of those games where we had opportunities,” Botta said. “We had a guy open in the end zone, and the ball bounced off his fingers. We had an interception right before halftime. The difference was that Hampton made the plays, and we didn't.”
Hampton quarterback Jon Nigro finished 10-for-16 for 243 yards, while Franklin Regional quarterback Nico Lodovico threw for 133 yards and a touchdown to Charan Singh, but he also had three interceptions.
Talbots receiver Eddie Edwards finished with 152 yards, as the usually stout Panthers defense gave up one too many big plays in the first half to let Hampton pull out to a 17-7 lead.
“Nico did not have one of his best games, and he'd be the first to admit it. Charan didn't have a real good game, either, after he played a great game against Knoch,” Botta said.
“My job now is to keep these guys' heads up. We're not going to be perfect every time. We're still a very good team. It's just a matter of regrouping and correcting the mistakes we made, starting this week.”
Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Allegheny County D.A.’s office rounding up drug suspects
- Ex-judge in Philadelphia charged with bribery, conspiracy in sting case
- Starkey: Century mark beckons for Ben
- Steelers’ defense on pace for fewest sacks in 16-game season
- Flyers continue mastery of Penguins at Consol
- Corbett rips Wolf tax proposals during Hempfield campaign stop
- New Castle man admits to producing child pornography
- Ferrante trial set to begin Thursday afternoon
- Cops: Washington County surplus store sold stolen items
- Highmark seeks double-digit increase for more benefits, heavy use
- One Direction bring 2015 stadium tour to Heinz Field