NO. 2 HAMPTON CRABBERS
Coach: Mike Smith (42nd year, 428-69-2)
2011: 9-3, 7-2 (T-2nd); lost to Norcom in Eastern Region semifinals
LAST TIME NOT IN PLAYOFFS: 2002
LAST LOSING SEASON: 1965
Aug. 30: at Heritage (W, 43-0), 8
Sept. 8: Norcom (W, 14-13; L, 20-14*), 7
Sept. 14: Bethel (L, 20-0), 7
Sept. 21: at Woodside (L, 31-24), 7
Sept. 27: Denbigh (W, 55-8), 7
Oct. 5: at Gloucester (W, 42-3), 7
Oct. 11: at Warwick (W, 49-0), 6;
Oct. 19: Menchville (W, 42-3), 7
Oct. 26: Kecoughtan (W, 14-0), 7
Nov. 1: at Phoebus (W 13-10), 7
TOP RETURNEES: QB/LB/DB Deon Newsome (5-11/185/Sr.), RB/LB Marshawn Williams (6-0/221/Jr.), TE/S Daquin Moore (6-3/200/Sr.), OL/DL/LB Daunte Wilson (6-0/201/Sr.), WR/DB Trevor Arneaud (5-7/151/Sr.), OL/DL Malik Brown (5-10/218/Sr.), OL/DL Troy Garrett (6-0/264/Sr.), OL/DL Joemel Redd (6-2/205/Sr.), WR/DE Trey Pressley (6-3/195/Sr.), RB/DB Cal Kee (6-0/180/So.), WR/DB Rashawn Stevens (6-0/182/Sr.).
2011 STATISTICAL RANKINGS:
27.3 (3rd)….……..PPG…...…...…….10.0 (1st)
148.8 (5th)……… Rushing…………..83.3 (2nd)
125.6 (4th)..…... Passing………......101.9 (8th)
264.4 (5th)..…….Total……………..185.2 (1st)
Everyone knows the Crabbers will be able to run. Williams rushed for 650 yards on only 100 carries and would have easily broken 1,000 with more attempts. He’s a bulldozer with speed, and he’s only a junior. Newsome is maybe the best playmaker in the district. Playing just about everywhere on offense last season, he rushed for 287 yards, threw for 79, and caught 15 passes for 462 more. Not to mention punt and kick returns. The question is the passing game: Newsome was only 3-of-10 in limited work. If Hampton’s scrimmage vs. Landstown is any indication, he’s a much different quarterback now. He has a talented group of receivers led by Moore (11-206-2), Arneaud, and transfer Umar Muhammad-Wyatt. The line returns three starters in Wilson, who has moved to center, Garrett and Redd. The Crabbers’ athleticism in the backfield and at receiver should allow them to do a lot of things to produce points.
The Crabbers were the top overall defense in the district last season by holding six opponents to a field goal or less. They held Phoebus to only seven points in regulation. This group should be a typical Hampton D: Quick if not all that big. Wilson and Redd are back at the two end spots with Garrett returning at one of the tackle spots. Quan Henry (6-2/255/Sr.), a transfer from Georgia, will be the fourth. At linebacker, Newsome and Williams will be pulling double duty and will be joined by Brown. Last year, the Crabbers held opponents to 2.6 yards per rushing attempt, and the front seven is a major reason why. The secondary is led by Moore, an imposing force at free safety. Stevens and Cal Kee (6-0/180/So.) will be the corners.
THE COACH SAYS:
“We’re relatively young this year. We’ve got some good seniors, but we’ve got some good young people, too. … Marshawn’s playing some fullback also. He’s kind of multi-tasking right now. He’s probably a combination of people we’ve had before. Maybe Darryl Smith and Alex Hill. Those two and Tron Martinez. He’s a combination of them all: big, strong and quick. ... Wilson isn’t particularly big, but he’s our center. He’s our go-to guy. … Our defense should be very solid. We may be a little bigger than we have been. Everybody runs good and plays well. … Believe me, we can throw it. We’ve got some good receivers. We have seven of them to get in right now, which is a good advantage. I think we’ll be all right. … Deon’s a pretty good football player. … This is a good group of guys. I think we’ll be all right.”
It’s hard to pick against the four-time defending state champion, so until proven otherwise Phoebus remains the favorite. But the Crabbers just might have their best team since 2005, when they won their last state title. Hampton’s running game will overpower most opponents, and if Newsome can connect with his receivers … well, amazing things could happen. Defensively, the Crabbers don’t look like a group that will be giving up much. The only thing to watch out for is a good number of players, Newsome and Williams in particular, playing both ways. They’ll have to get some rest.