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September 14, 2012
Pittman, Phantoms Roll to 3-0 Start: In Thursday night's Peninsula District matchup between the Phoebus Phantoms and Kecoughtan Warriors, two teams put their undefeated record on the line, each having a good amount of familiar with the other.
Kecoughtan is coached by Alonzo Coley, the former offensive coordinator on the Phantoms' State Championship winning teams. Their new defensive coordinator is Greg Narvid, who held that same position at PHS as well.
Meanwhile, the Phantoms have former Warriors linebacker Richie Staton and big-game pedigree on their side. That never seems to wane these days. It certainly showed again in a 55-7 thumping of their crosstown rivals, which saw Phoebus bring a heavy dose of Tony Pittman on offense along with a speedy, physical defense that played relentless, flying to the ball from all different angles.
"Offensively, I'm happy. I think there was one only drive we didn't score on and that was our second offensive possession. They had a couple good defensive calls, we ran plays right into a blitz and they stuffed us pretty good. But after that, we tightened up and got it going," remarked Phoebus Head Football Coach Stan Sexton, now 46-2 at the helm.
"I thought we had a solid defensive night. We held a great tailback under 100 yards and that was really good."
It was simply another day at the office for the bruising Phantoms tailback that has carried over his strong finish to last year into this season. Pittman ran 22 times for 214 yards and five touchdowns, a personal-best.
"That's my best game so far this year. I was just playing the game, following my blocks and running behind my linemen. We wanted to beat them as bad as we could," Pittman said.
"You've got to make sure you account for him and you've got make sure you are physical with him," Sexton added. "One thing about him if you notice is he gets stronger as the game goes on, getting more and more physical and has turned into a great leader on this team. He has that refuse to lose."
Kecoughtan was able to pull within seven down early in the second quarter when they converted a third down on a 21-yard touchdown pass. From that point on, the Phoebus defense didn't blink, limiting the Warriors to 71 total yards on 40 plays.
"That touchdown was a real motivator. We didn't want them to score at all," said Phoebus senior linebacker Atavius Matthews. "They happened to put the ball in the end zone, so that really hit home for us and we knew we had to tighten up and make plays."
Matthew Hatfield has covered Eastern Region Football & Basketball since 2004 for VirginiaPreps.com, part of the Rivals.com Network. Check out Hatfield's Twitter page for more sports related updates, and you can also read his work in the Suffolk News Herald. To contact Matthew, please e-mail email@example.com, and don't forget to listen to him on the VirginiaPreps.com Hour every Saturday at 11AM on ESPN Radio 94.1 plus watch him on the Cox 11 Sports Report.