PORTSMOUTH—Based on Churchland's near-miss the previous week against defending state champion Phoebus, Hampton was well-aware of its challenge Friday night. And to make matters worse, the Crabbers had to deal with a swarm of bugs that invaded just before halftime.
But Hampton handled everything. After struggling out of the gate on offense, the Crabbers got all the points they would need with two second-quarter touchdowns and cruised to a 21-6 win over the Truckers.
"We did what we had to do," linebacker Dallas Cogdell said. "We wanted to put pressure on him. And when he scrambled, we wanted to hit him in the mouth."
Metaphorically speaking, of course. The Crabbers had five sacks and forced Brooks to fumble three times, including on the Truckers' first two possessions.
"Hey, our defense played great," Hampton coach Mike Smith said. "We had a couple of breakdowns and some bad reads on fourth downs two times. But overall, the defense played very good. This was a nice win."
Churchland (1-2) managed one scoring drive, which briefly made it a one-possession game with 11:21 left in the game. But after a pooch kickoff went out of bounds, Hampton answered with an eight-play, 52-yard drive to go ahead 21-6 on Watford's 1-yard run.
Hampton's offense needed some time to get clicking. After their first three possessions, the Crabbers had eight total yards and no first downs. But the spark was Watford's 14-yard completion to Futch on third-and-10.
Seven plays after that, Watford hooked up with Futch for a 26-yard pass to the Churchland 11-yard line. Charity scored two plays later to put Hampton up 7-0 with 2:40 remaining in the first half.
"Once we get it started, we feel like we can't be stopped," said Futch, who is proving to be the Peninsula District's best playmaker. "Once the defense started getting stops, David came on the field and said, 'We've got to get it going.' And we did."
Churchland went three-and-out, and the Crabbers took over at the Trucker 40-yard line with 62 seconds left in the half. Watford faded to throw and was flushed out of the pocket. As he ran around and bought some time, wideout Jason Manago found himself wide open behind Churchland's secondary.
Manago caught Watford's pass at the 10-yard line and took it in for Hampton's second touchdown in less than a minute.
"That really gave us a boost at the half," Futch said. "That gave us confidence we could do the job."
HAMPTON 21, CHURCHLAND 6
|Hampton 01407 — 21|
|Churchland 0006 — 6|
Ham: Manago 40 pass from Watford (Cass kick)
Chu: Cradle 1 run (kick failed)
Ham: Watford 1 run (Hutcheson kick)