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November 23, 2012
9:26 PM: It's now over, the Lake Taylor Titans are Eastern Region Champions for the first time since 1982. After losing to Phoebus five times since 2002, the Titans have finally climbed that hurdle and move on to the State Playoffs.
FINAL SCORE: LAKE TAYLOR 54, PHOEBUS 0
It's the worst loss for Phoebus margin wise since 1985 when they fell to Green Run 73-2. Lake Taylor will play on the road in the State Semis against the winner of the Northwest Region Division 5 Championship between North Stafford and Mountain View.
Stay tuned for more reaction to come!
9:22 PM: Boy, Lake Taylor is living it up big right now as they score two touchdowns in a span of less than a minute. With 4:30 to play, the Titans see junior QB Delmon Williams throws his fourth touchdown pass of the evening on a 15-yard dart to junior tight end Jalyn Holmes, one of the most impressive looking prospects you're going to find on the East Coast in the Class of 2014.
That was followed by a scoop and score from Lake Taylor's Brandon Lynch, who returns a fumble 25 yards for a touchdown.
It has been total domination from start to finish by Lake Taylor and Phoebus' run of four consecutive state titles is going to come to an end.
Lake Taylor 54, Phoebus 0 with under a minute to play.
9:02 PM: Guess what folks? Even though there isn't supposed to be a running clock in a playoff game (unless the coaches on both sides agree to it), we've got one now as Lake Taylor has stunned the crowd that made the trip across the tunnel from Hampton to see the reigning four-time State Champs trail by 40 points.
If this score holds, it will match the Phantoms' worst defeat since 40-0 to Hampton in 1999.
Major credit to the Lake Taylor defense in this one as DB's Donovan Powell, Jakale Pinkney and Nhyre Quinerly have done a superb job playing the ball in the secondary when in flight. Up front, Jamel Spellman (co-Eastern District Defensive Player of the Year), Jalyn Holmes, Brandon Lynch, Shiheem Johnson and Nyquan 'Big Money' Harris have been disruptive. Especially active have been Spellman and Johnson, bottling up Phoebus RB Tony Pittman immediately all night long.
8:55 PM: The second half is underway and it's simply more of the same. Phoebus is able to drive into Lake Taylor territory, but they eventually get stopped on fourth down at the 45-yard line of the Titans with Jakale Pinkney breaking up a pass.
The Titans get the ball back and it's tailback Brandon 'Pork Chop' Moore rumbling 34 yards to pay-dirt.
6:06 left 3rdQ - - Lake Taylor 40, Phoebus 0.
8:35 PM: We have finally reached intermission here at Harbor Park in Norfolk, and folks this stat pretty much sums it up in a nutshell. Titans have outgained Phoebus 303-5 through two quarters of play.
Half - - Lake Taylor 34, Phoebus 0
Some individual numbers in this one so far . . .
This one looks to be over, unless something for the ages happens. Since we are at a baseball field, let's give you this line score:
Team: Runs Hits Errors
8:25 PM: Put another touchdown on the board for Lake Taylor. While Phoebus did record a first down for the first time on the night with freshman QB Terrell Toliver completing a 12-yard pass to Troy Durham, the Phantoms turned the ball over shortly thereafter. Toliver was drilled by Lake Taylor's Brandon 'Pork Chop' Moore, causing a fumble that was scooped up by Marquise Poole, the transfer from Booker T. Washington for the Titans.
Lake Taylor followed it up with a 23-yard touchdown pass by Delmon Williams, his third of the night, to Harry Freeman. It's nice to see Freeman back out there after a vicious hit he took in the regular season finale versus Norcom forced him to miss the first two rounds of the playoffs.
8:15 PM: Well, the Titans have struck AGAIN. Lake Taylor gets on the board when Brandon 'Pork Chop' Moore busts a 58-yard run on 3rd & 14 to the Phoebus 8-yard line, setting up Daquan Davis' second TD run of the night (from 8 yards out of course). Then, it is QB Delmon Williams throwing the two-point conversion pass to tight end Jalyn Holmes, who makes it look like taking candy from baby, very easy.
That makes the score . . . Lake Taylor 28, Phoebus 0 with 4:23 until intermission.
Now, things are starting to get a little chippy with Phoebus players AND coaches running onto the field. The Titans appear to be in the Phantoms' heads at this moment, and Phoebus, barring a surreal comeback, could be headed for their worst blowout loss since 2000 when they lost to Heritage 37-0 (thanks to my pressbox colleague Lynn Burke of HRVarsity.com & the Daily Press for that nugget).
UPDATE - - senior DL/TE Richie Staton of the Phantoms has been ejected during that scuffle, not exactly sure what for, but word is something unsportsmanlike.
8:08 PM: It didn't take Lake Taylor long and they did it again, finding the end zone with ease as Delmon Williams delivers a 55-yard touchdown pass to Jakale Pinkney to make the score 20-0 Lake Taylor over Phoebus with 8:18 to go in the 2ndQ.
The Titans are getting it done with the run and the pass, diversifying their attack oh so well this year. Major props have to go to Coach Hank Sawyer and his offensive coaches for the job they've done. Those two guys are Mike James, the offensive coordinator, and line coach Mike Whittington. Or as Coach Sawyer calls them, 'Mike & Mike,' in reference to the national ESPN Radio morning program. It's not the morning show, but it's a pretty impressive show in the evening in Norfolk.
7:59 PM: Lake Taylor continues to run the ball effectively with their 1-2 punch of Brandon 'Pork Chop' Moore and Daquan Davis. The Titans are on the move again out to the Phoebus 33-yard line, but the drive has stalled and they're looking at 4th-and-7 from the 30-yard line. Delmon Williams throws a lob in the end zone for junior tight end Jalyn Holmes, his big 6-foot-5 target and BCS prospect. Holmes can't quite bring it in and Da'Quan Lane, the guy who picked off a Hampton pass to seal last week's semifinal win over Hampton, was able to break up the pass.
Now Phoebus has the ball, trailing 14-0, needing to get something started badly or else this could get away from them in a hurry.
7:53 PM: Coach Hank Sawyer of the Lake Taylor Titans couldn't have asked for a much better start. On their second offensive possession, they go 54 yards in just four plays, capped by Daquan Davis' 39-yard touchdown run. Davis, a transfer from Norview, has really picked it up in the second half of the season, getting to the second level of the defense with a full head of steam.
Phoebus' offense is facing a third-and-10 after Nhyre Quinerly, sophomore corner for Lake Taylor, makes a nice pass breakup on a ball intended for Richie Staton. Terrell Toliver goes deep again, and his throw is off the mark again with good coverage by Donovan Powell of the Titans. The Phantoms are in big trouble, trailing 14-0 late in the first period with six offensive plays netting minus eight yards so far. And the Titans are about to get the ball back.
End 1stQ: Lake Taylor 14, Phoebus 0.
7:45 PM: On Phoebus' first offensive possession, the Phantoms go three-and-out as Terrell Toliver is drilled by Brandon Lynch for a loss of nine. Tony Pittman gets no gain, and then Toliver's pass on third down is incomplete. Phoebus punts and Lake Taylor takes over at its own 46-yard line with 4:37 left in the first quarter.
7:39 PM: Coach Jeremy Blount of the Phoebus Phantoms is not liking what he's seeing on this opening possession as Lake Taylor has marched right down the field 36 yards on four plays, resulting in two rushing first downs by Brandon 'Pork Chop' Moore and Daquan Davis. Blount burns a time-out with the Titans looking at 2nd & 1 from the 41-yard line of Phoebus.
Quarterback Delmon Williams keeps it and runs 11 yards down the Phoebus 30-yard line. The offensive line for Lake Taylor, featuring three All-District performers in Cliff Arrington, Justice Gilbert and A.J. Williams, is getting excellent push so far versus a tough Phantoms d-line. Donovan Powell converts the game's first third down from the 21-yard line to move the chains for the Titans. Another third down after a good stuff by Kevin Lyles and the Titans need nine yards to get another first down. Williams has wideout Jakale Pinkney wide open, but the pass is a little too high to haul in, so fourth down upcoming.
Pinkney gets wide open again and scores on a 20-yard TD from Williams. That makes the score Lake Taylor 7, Phoebus 0 with 6:26 to go first quarter.
7:30 PM: Phoebus has won the coin toss and elected to defer. Lake Taylor will get the ball first to start the game; Phantoms' ball to start the second half.
7:25 PM: Welcome to tonight's Eastern Region Division 5 Championship Blog between the top-seeded Lake Taylor Titans (12-0) and the reigning four-time State Champion Phoebus Phantoms (12-0). These two have met five times in the postseason since 2002, all won by the Phantoms.
We previewed the game in-depth with Keys to Victory and Predictions, which you can see at this link here. We're about to kick things off so stay tuned with us and follow along on Twitter at Twitter.com/hatfieldsports as well!
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 Saturdays from 10AM to Noon on ESPN Radio 94.1 plus watch him on the Cox 11 Sports Report.