#13 Norview RB Kaytron Allen (Photo: Danny Haymond/recruit757)
Hampton-Norview Preview: Both Crabbers and Pilots are in must-win situations
by Brandon Mitchell, recruit757
Hampton (3-6) at Norview (3-6) 4:00 p.m. Saturday
Monday night football is a rarity in the Peninsula District, but the Crabbers were matched up against a 3-5 Gloucester program looking to go to the playoffs for the just the third time since 1988. The Crabbers currently hold the final seed in the Region 5A, but were locked into the final seed with the Dukes who held an identical power rating of 20.875. Hampton had one job to do on Monday night and if history was a prelude of what we could expect then there should’ve of been no question of what the outcome would’ve been. It’s difficult to beat a team once let alone 30-consecutive contests.
When the clock struck zero on Monday night, the Dukes were heading off the field while Isaiah Lester posed as the big man on campus after knocking down the game-winning 30-yard field goal as time expired.
Isaiah Lester’s game-winning field goal personifies the direction the Crabbers season has gone up until this point. Hampton now finds its back up against the wall for the first time since 2002. The playoffs without Coach Mike Smith and the Crabbers representing, in part, the Peninsula District is just a sight we haven’t grown that accustomed to in the city of Hampton. Their latest loss to the Dukes will break the tie for the eighth seed giving Gloucester the inside track to set up a Region 5A quarter-final matchup with Indian River. A victory over Norview on Friday could a long way giving Hampton hope going to the final week of the regular season.
At the same time, the Pilots find themselves in a bit of a must-win situation also at home this Friday. Norview accomplished a big step last week knocking off Woodrow Wilson at home. After losing three-consecutive contests, the Pilots were on a fast track of heading home for the winter and missing the playoffs for the first time since the year before Dealton Cotton showed up on campus in 2013. We’ve witnessed Norview go to war with the likes of Indian River, Green Run, Nansemond River, Salem and Highland Springs over the last five years of post-season play. Despite receiving a bump after last week’s win over the Presidents, it’s imperative that Pilots come out on top against the Crabbers.
Hampton hasn’t shown up on the schedule for Norview much throughout the history of both programs. Be that as it may, the two have played three times in the last three years with two victories going to the Pilots. There’s no Dazz Newsome this year on the sideline for Hampton and there’s no Derrick Eason for Norview. Darriel Mack, Trejzhon Askew and Anthony Craig have moved on as well as Johnny Gaskins, Elijah Conliffe and Jalen Powell. This contest, as anti-climatic as their records indicate, could indicate who continues their season versus who won’t.
Hampton Key Players:
Isaiah Banks (2019 QB 5-7 160), Elijah Highsmith (2019 ATH 5-8 190) Darrell Butler (2019 RB 5-5 155), Dae’quan Battle (2019 RB/LB 5-9 195), Jahvon Richardson (2020 WR 6-0 170) and Kyrell McKinney (2020 RB 6-1 230).
Starting quarterback Isaiah Banks isn’t the prototypical gunslinger that his Peninsula District counterparts are in Chris Daniels (Phoebus) and Darius Price (Heritage). Where Daniels and Price like to stand tall and assert their pocket presence as they go through their progressions, Banks likes to use his legs to put the Crabbers offense in positions to succeed. Against Gloucester, the Crabbers rushed for 124 yards on 33 carries and two touchdowns. However, Banks opened up the passing game completing 4-of-8 passes for 76 yards.
The Hampton product picked up a 28-yard touchdown run in the second quarter with Kyrell McKinney picking up the Crabbers’ first touchdown run of one-yard in the first quarter. With the running game being the main staple of the Crabbers’ offense, they’ll have to get players such as Darrell Butler, Isaiah Banks and Kyrell McKinney going early. Prior to the Pilots’ recent win over the Presidents, the Norview defense allowed 40 points put contest on their three-game losing streak. Putting points on the board has been a major problem for Hampton this season as they’ve only eclipsed 16 offensive points just twice.
Norview Key Players:
Marqeese Dietz (2020 QB 5-10 165), Kaytron Allen (2020 RB 5-10 185) and Jaylen Bradley (2020 WR 6-1 187).
Anyway you want to breakdown the Norview offense it all starts with freshman running back Kaytron Allen. The Southside is littered with a lot of athletic running backs such as Rodney Hammond, C.J. Beasley, Leo Wethington and Demonte Dunlap among others. However, Allen is in a league of his own at such a young age. Through nine games this season, Allen has been able to rush for 1,158 yards and 13 touchdowns. He has the third most rushing yards out of all Southside running backs and only trails Tayvion Robinson (Cox) in the rushing touchdown category. Marqeese Dietz has come around as a viable passing option for the Pilots. He picked up two touchdowns against Wilson while Allen picked up the residual.
We run into trouble when we look at the defensive side of the ball for the Pilots. Norview allowed only seven points against the Presidents last Thursday. But during their three-game losing streak, they allowed upwards of 40 points per contest to Norcom, Maury and Booker T. Washington. Jaylen Bradley has eased some of the pressure off the secondary collecting three interceptions this season and emerging as one of the better defensive backs in the region. The Hampton offense only has an output of 12 points per contest this season and has been shut out two times. If the Pilots’ play their cards right, they may be able to run away with this contest without much resistance.
Keys to the Game:
If you don’t know much about Hampton it would be easier to go with the Pilots. Kaytron Allen is a wizard with the ball in his hands and Norview has been able to put up multiple double-digit point totals this season. Not to mention the strength of schedule for Norview is remarkably higher than that of the Crabbers therefore multiple points can be made against the Crabbers.
But in the words of College Gameday’s Lee Corso, “Not so fast my friend.”
Heritage, Phoebus, Woodside, Warwick and Kecoughtan all hold a combined record of 32-15 so it’s not like there’s a lack of competition within the Peninsula District. Only Phoebus handled the Crabbers mightily winning 35-0. Hampton lost to every other aforementioned program by nine points or less with Heritage being the only exception losing by 13 points. Let’s not forget that it took an Isaiah Lester last second field goal to knock off the Crabbers on Monday night. This is a Hampton program that has proved this season that it can still line up with almost any team placed in front of it and compete at a high level. Don’t expect this to be a walk in the park for the Pilots despite playing in front of a passionate home crowd on Friday night because Hampton does indeed travel well.
– Brandon Mitchell