Last November, it was no contest. Hampton's defense outscored Norcom by itself, and the Crabbers polished off a 24-0 win in the Eastern Region Division 5 semifinals.
It was a similar story the previous year when Hampton dominated the Greyhounds 28-0 in the quarterfinals.
But going into Friday night's game at Portsmouth, this time in the second week of the regular season, Crabbers coach Mike Smith isn't banking on another blowout. In fact, he knows being shut out two years in a row could be a source of motivation for Norcom (2-0).
"I don't know if we beat them that soundly," Smith said. "But we have shut them out the last (two) years, so they might try to redeem themselves. We're going to try to repeat it."
Of the eight games between the Peninsula and Eastern districts this weekend, this is the most compelling. Smith and Norcom counterpart Larry Archie, whose team finished 10-2 last season, agreed to play a two-year series.
Hampton is 13-3 against the Eastern District since 2001 with all three losses coming in the postseason.
We meet again
Also on Friday night's docket is Maury at Woodside. It'll be the sixth time these teams have met since September 2007. The Wolverines have won all five, four by at least three touchdowns.
Woodside and Maury first signed to play each other in 2007. The series was renewed in '09 and then '11.
"We got them good last year, but it's generally been a competitive game," said Wolverines coach Danny Dodson, whose team won 35-0 in 2010. "We've have a good relationship with Maury and we saw no reason to stop the series."
Speaking of Woodside: Sophomore Malik Gray dislocated his kneecap in warmups prior to the Menchville game. Dodson said Gray is walking and hopefully will play this season.
Denbigh finished 10th in the PD last season in rushing defense by giving up 264 yards a game. In Friday's 60-20 loss to Booker T. Washington, the Patriots were torched for 450 yards on the ground.
"They had some guys who are really talented," Denbigh coach Marcellus Harris III said. "But we helped them out with a lot of mistakes. We've been working on them ever since to hopefully prevent them from happening again."
One problem is that Denbigh isn't very big up front. Another is that of the front seven, Harris said four are in their first year of playing football.
Good and bad
On its two touchdown drives last week against Warwick, Phoebus totaled 180 yards on 20 plays. On their remaining seven drives, the Phantoms had 88 yards on 33 snaps. Not to mention 12 penalties for 116 yards.
"Those drives were picture perfect," quarterback Eric Enderson said of the two that produced touchdowns. "We have to do it like that on every drive."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun