Hampton routs Greensburg Salem in battle for first place

Friday, October 1, 2021 | 10:42 PM

Greensburg Salem and Hampton are from different counties, separated by about 40 miles, but they play in the same conference.

The teams were a lot further apart when they met in a first-place matchup Friday night.

No. 5 Hampton dominated the Golden Lions, showing its speed and depth on both sides of the football, on the way to a 45-6 Greater Allegheny Conference victory at Fridley Field.

One winning streak ended, and another continued in the anticlimactic clash that saw Hampton come in as fast as it went out.

Hampton (6-0, 3-0), which hadn’t started 5-0 since 2015 — the 2014 Talbots were 8-0 before they lost — has developed a reputation as a team that takes care of the football and does not beat itself with drive-stalling penalties.

Greensburg Salem (4-2, 2-1) had not won four games in a row since 2016. It was looking to win five in a row for the first time since 2009 — the last time the team won a conference title.

“That is a good football team,” Greensburg Salem coach Dave Keefer said of the Talbots. “They beat us in every aspect tonight. You watch them on film, but seeing them (in person) is different. They punched us in the mouth early, and we never recovered.”

Hampton outgained the Golden Lions, 510-198, racking up 432 yards rushing.

Hampton converted two turnovers into points to take a 31-0 lead into halftime. Brock Borgo ran for 130 yards and three touchdowns, all in the opening half, as the Talbots took a commanding lead.

“That was a bear coming in here tonight, but our kids were up to the challenge,” Hampton coach Jacque DeMatteo said. “We have a lot of weapons, and the kids have great chemistry together. We like to spread it around. Our line played well.”

Hampton calls its offense, a variation of the wing-T, “Wings and Things.” Greensburg Salem saw the “things” as multiple running backs gashed it for yardage, and two quarterbacks led scoring drives.

Jake Premick had 95 yards rushing, and Christian Liberto added 85.

Senior quarterback Matt DeMatteo, who also kicks for the Talbots, had an interception, kicked a field goal and made six extra points.

The Talbots led 17-0 after an eventful first quarter before stepping on the gas in the second.

After Matt DeMatteo intercepted Hayden Teska, Jayden Resch scored on a 1-yard plunge early in the second quarter to make it 24-0. DeMatteo set up the score with a 29-yard keeper.

“We tried to treat this as just another game,” Jacque DeMatteo said. “No game is bigger than the next. I am so proud of our kids.”

On the next Golden Lions possession, Logan Schwartz blocked a punt to set up a short scoring run by Borgo.

“Their line did a nice job up front,” Keefer said. “We didn’t get off a lot of blocks. I said we had to be disciplined, cut out turnovers and play good defense, and we didn’t do any of those things. We made some dumb penalties. We have to take a look at ourselves after this game.”

Greensburg Salem lost senior Clayton Hudspath to a leg injury in the first quarter. He was carted off the field and taken to a nearby hospital.

Hampton scored three plays and one minute into the game when Borgo went around left end and raced 43 yards for a touchdown.

The Talbots made it 10-0 when Matt DeMatteo kicked a 31-yard field goal late in the opening quarter.

Still in the first quarter, Borgo went up the middle, broke a few tackles and ran for a 22-yard score to push the lead to 17-0.

Greensburg Salem finally scored early in the third when WPIAL passing leader Teska zipped a 23-yard strike to Cody Rubrecht.

But the Talbots tacked on another score: a 39-yard burst by Joey Mayer, the other quarterback. That came after the Golden Lions lost another fumble.

Teska came into the night with 1,176 yards and 11 touchdowns. Dogged by pressure all night, he finished 12 of 29 for 161 yards and a score.

Premick added a short scoring run late in the third for the Talbots to start the mercy rule.

Hampton has won seven of the last eight meetings, and four in a row. Greensburg Salem’s last win against the Talbots came in 2012.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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