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August 24, 2013
8:15 PM: Well, the Phoebus Phantoms gave an extremely valiant effort in defeat against the DeMatha Stags, rated as high as #15 in a couple of national polls.
A Full Recap with comments from Coach Jeremy Blunt of the Phantoms and wideout Cameron Phillips (Virginia Tech commit) from DeMatha will be up later, but in the meantime, let's review the numbers from this heavyweight tilt.
Final Stats: *** Courtesy of Mike Whittington & STATVA (www.statva.com) ***
DeMatha Stags 24: (1-0 Overall)
Phantoms 20: (0-1 Overall)
7:30 PM: It is now in the books and the DeMatha Stags have defeated the Phoebus Phantoms in the Power Recruit Classic at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex.
FINAL SCORE - - DEMATHA 24, PHOEBUS 20
We'll have Final Stats and more to come on VirginiaPreps.com!
7:22 PM: Phoebus begins this all important series from their own 20-yard line after a touchback, but the Phantoms are sent backwards on consecutive plays courtesy of Spencer Kleinrichert sacks. DeMatha's defense has made some significant stands at different portions of this game.
On third-and-27 from their own 3-yard line, Phoebus goes to the air and Terrell Toliver's pass intended for Darius Jones is short. NC State commit Deonte Holden, who has been relatively quiet today, makes the tackle on fourth down as DeMatha takes over with just under two minutes to play, ahead by a count of 24-20.
All DeMatha basically has to do is run out the clock here and they will be able to take a knee and leave Virginia Beach with a hard-fought win over the Phoebus Phantoms.
We'll have Final Stats and more coming soon!
7:15 PM: The Phantoms buckle down defensively inside the 10-yard line as their defensive front steps up, and in particular senior Jamal Earls, who tackles the bowling bowl who is Taiwan Deal short of a first down. DeMatha has a decision to make on fourth down of whether to kick the field goal to try to push the lead to four or go for it and put it away. They elect to kick.
Mac Burke sneaks the field goal through the uprights from 27 yards out.
With 3:01 left - - DeMatha 24, Phoebus 20
Those three points can turn out to be crucial for DeMatha, but Phoebus is right where they'd like to be as far as being only one touchdown away from winning.
7:08 PM: Leading by a point early in the fourth quarter, DeMatha is going to the power run game and that means Wisconsin commit Taiwan Deal, who lowers the shoulder and continues to be the Stags' mini version of Ron Dayne.
On almost exclusively iso and zone runs, DeMatha is churning out yards little by little, inching closer to the red zone of Phoebus. An offensive face-mask penalty moves the Stags back to the 30-yard line of Phoebus. Deal pushes over the century mark on the ground, now with 17 attempts for 110 yards, and the Stags are looking at second-and-9 from the Phoebus 7-yard line.
Phoebus has to get a strip here or hold the Stags on third down to force a field goal.
7:00 PM: With Joe Addison battling cramps, Terrell Toliver steps in at quarterback and delivers two crucial plays for Phoebus. The first one comes on third-and-9 from their own 48-yard line as he executes a beautiful play-fake with a 13-yard run. A couple plays later, it's Toliver hitting Troy Durham for a 33-yard completion over the head of stud linebacker Dale Matthews.
The drive finishes when Hokies commit Marshawn Williams powers into the end zone, and the score will be knotted with a successful PAT. However, Jamal Robinson of DeMatha doesn't want it tied up and blocks the extra point.
With 10:24 remaining - - DeMatha 21, Phoebus 20
6:52 PM: Linebacker Dale Matthews of DeMatha continues to be the most dominating player on the field and my early vote for MVP. So far, Matthews has nine tackles and just registered his third sack, bringing on the punt unit for Phoebus.
DeMatha's offense isn't on the field for long as their offensive line lets them down a bit on this last possession, concluding when Troy Durham, who was injured earlier in the game, comes through on a sack on third down for the Phantoms.
The Phantoms have it around midfield and are one or two plays away from potentially tying this up when the fourth quarter commences. One possible concern might be that starting QB Joe Addison is starting to cramp up, which means sophomore Terrell Toliver, who had a 12-1TD/Int. ratio as a freshman, could move under center.
End 3rdQ - - DeMatha 21, Phoebus 14
Plain and simple, DeMatha's lack of creativity offensively is hurting them immensely. Much like they did during their run of state title runs in the 2009, '10 and '11 seasons, the Phantoms are hanging around against a great foe and it'll be interesting to see how they finish in crunch time with the game up for grabs.
6:45 PM: A couple of draw plays and counters have DeMatha marching now. To go with the mix of Taiwan Deal (Wisconsin), third-string running back and sophomore Lorenzo Harrison is now getting in on the mix in the run game for the Stags and Phoebus is defense is showing some - - not a ton - - of fatigue on this series.
The Stags get a terrific 21-yard run from Harrison down to the Phoebus 1-yard line. DeMatha closes out the nine-play, 93-yard drive in 3:12 with a touchdown plunge from Harrison.
With 5:32 left in the 3rdQ - - DeMatha 21, Phoebus 14
Phoebus simply needs to continue with its basic principles of philosophy of pounding the rock between the tackles, not trying anything too crazy and do it fundamentally sharp without any penalties to keep this thing tight.
6:38 PM: With 8:44 remaining in the third quarter, the Stags of DeMatha suddenly find itself tied at 14-apiece against reigning Peninsula District Champ Phoebus. The Stags aren't looking at great field position, beginning at their own 7-yard line. If Phoebus can come up with some stops against the run, dial up the right blitzes in the process and put DeMatha in some third downs, they're probably looking at getting the ball back.
Wisconsin commit Taiwan Deal, who is built just like Ron Dayne as statistician Mike Whittington points out, puts a Phoebus defender in the spin cycle and rumbles 26 yards for a first down. That's a much needed play for the Stags to give them some breathing room just in case they have to punt.
6:30 PM: A really nice drive to start the third period by the Phoebus Phantoms, who are leaning on the powerful running of Virginia Tech commit Marshawn Williams. To go with his strength, Williams has shown a few impressive cut-back moves once he gets to the next level of the defense.
Williams' 27-yard scamper puts DeMatha at the seven-yard line. He now has 13 carries for 59 yards, and this is shaping up to be a 25-attempt night for 120-plus on the ground. Quarterback Joe Addison has managed the game well for the Phantoms as well, keeping the mistakes to a minimum and not trying to do too much out of his comfort zone,
Addison sneaks in between the center and the left guard for a touchdown on third-and-1.
With 8:48 left 3rdQ - - DeMatha 14, Phoebus 14
DeMatha must get more imaginative on its next offensive series or else the Phantoms' confidence of pulling out the victory is only going to grow.
6:24 PM: To start the third quarter, Phoebus gets the ball and begins at its own 30-yard line. The Phantoms don't get too exotic offensively and keep it simple with the run game, using Hokies commit Marshawn Williams and QB Joe Addison has escaped the pocket fairly well on a couple of occasions.
DeMatha is losing its composure a bit as they are whistled for two penalties after the play is over. The latest personal foul is of the 15-yard variety, pushing the Phantoms to the 35-yard line of DeMatha. This is a golden opportunity for Phoebus that they must capitalize on to tie this game and increase their odds of winning.
6:13 PM: Some half-time numbers from the Virginia Beach Sportsplex, site of the Power Recruit Classic between the Phoebus Phantoms and the DeMatha (MD) Stags courtesy of Mike Whittington & STATVA (www.statva.com):
Stats at the Half:
Phoebus has to feel they are in pretty good shape, but they will have to continue to contain DeMatha from getting the big play because the one they got with Phillips is the difference thus far. The good news for the Phantoms is they get the ball first to begin the second half. DeMatha has to be pleased with its defense through two quarters, but their offense is capable of doing more damage and might want to take some more chances through the air.
6:00 PM: A Phoebus penalty on fourth-and-7 moves DeMatha five yards closer and near midfield with less than a minute to go in the second quarter, so Head Coach Elijah Brooks decides to leave his offense on the field instead of punt in an effort to try to build on their 14-7 advantage. The Stags break through with what seems to be a first down until they fumble and senior DB Darius Jones recovers for the Phantoms, returning it 42 yards to the DeMatha 20-yard line with 23 seconds left in the second quarter.
Unfortunately for Phoebus, Head Coach Jeremy Blunt used his last time-out on the play before and that proved costly when QB Joe Addison was sacked by the Stags' combo of De'Adnre Kelly and Dale Matthews, who has been all over the field making plays defensively this afternoon/early evening.
Time will run out and the Stags will take a seven-point lead into the locker room.
Half - - DeMatha 14, Phoebus 7
We'll have some half-time numbers momentarily . . . keep it tuned here!
5:53 PM: For the most part, Phoebus has held their own and played DeMatha evenly in this first half with just a little less than three minutes to go until half-time. The Stags have been a little sloppier than expected and Phoebus has matched them in the speed department with little to no problem. I see some similarities with DeMatha and Stone Bridge.
DeMatha gets the Phoebus offense to go three-and-out with linebacker Ja'Whaun Bentley flattening running back Marshawn Williams on second down in what can be descrbed as an enormous hit and one of the memorable plays of this half to this point. As the Stags take over with 2:01 to go until half-time, they should be able to run out the clock, maybe try to take a shot down the field to get in field goal range before the break.
5:45 PM: The Phantoms were one play away from getting DeMatha off the field and getting the ball back tied until Sinmi Demuren struck for an 11-yard reception and Spencer Kleinrichert just barely moved the chains on third-and-4 from the 37-yard line.
Following the Kleinrichert reception, Virginia Tech commit Cameron Phillips makes a game-changing play by taking off to the house on a bubble screen pass from John Lovett. Phillips' touchdown measures 59 yards and might've taken the wind out of Phoebus' sail considerably before the half.
With 4:11 left in 2ndQ - - DeMatha 14, Phoebus 7
5:35 PM: DeMatha's third offensive series doesn't result in any success whatsoever as Phoebus makes the proper reads defensively to get off the field in a hurry. Giant Walter Brantley pancakes a Stags ball carrier, followed by tackles from Robbie Robinson and Hasaan Price for minimal gains for the Stags.
Phoebus gets the ball back and they carry that momentum into their next series when York transfer and sophomore running back JoMari Becnel explodes for a 38-yard run. That was a great job by the Phoebus offensive line opening up a gap for him to run through and take off into the red zone. While DeMatha's defense adjusts to force a third-and-6, Phoebus strikes when Joe Addison hits Terrell Toliver in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown.
With 6:10 left 2ndQ - - Phoebus 7, DeMatha 7
Credit to the Phantoms for hanging in there and we've got a pretty interesting battle developing at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex!
5:25 PM: Although their latest series didn't result in points, Phoebus was able to do some positive things on its second offensive possession. On third down, Joe Addison completes a pass to Terrell Toliver, last year's starting signal caller as a freshman, to move the chains.
Addison has completed his first three passes, but a few penalties send the Phantoms backwards and on third-and-22 from their own 37-yard line, Hokies commit Marshawn Williams breaks off about a 15-yard run on a draw. That keeps Phoebus in okay shape as far as field position is concerned before punting.
DeMatha linebacker Dale Matthews continues to deliver hits that make you wince, providing a physical presence for the Stags behind a d-line that features some gargantuan bodies in Jonathan Sackey-Addo (6-4, 367) and Devante Fox (6-4, 379), both of whom do a rather nice job clogging the middle (to no surprise).
5:15 PM: It didn't take long for DeMatha to find the end zone, finishing off an eight-play, 45-yard scoring drive in 3:54. The key play in their second series came on third down following a nice play on a tackle for loss by Phoebus defensive end Tyree Steward, DeMatha wideout Chris Jones hauled in an 11-yard reception on a comeback route from QB John Lovett to move the chains.
Moments later, Virginia Tech commit Cameron Phillips put the Stags inside the 10 on a buck sweep, and Taiwan Deal (Wisconsin commit) finished off the drive with a three-yard touchdown run. PAT is good.
DeMatha 7, Phoebus 0 - - 2:09 to go 1stQ
Phoebus needs to respond with a long drive that chews up plenty of time and it may take converting a couple of third down passes through the air.
5:08 PM: Phoebus begins its opening offensive possession at their own 21-yard line, where tailback Marshawn Williams, a Virginia Tech commit that transferred to the Phantoms from Hampton, is walloped by Dale Matthews, picking up zilch. Williams then goes nine yards to bring up third-and-short, but a false start by the Phantoms backs them five yards. On third down, Joe Addison's pass is complete to Darius Jones, though he is stopped immediately by Jamal Robinson.
The Phantoms are forced to punt, and sophomore Terrell Toliver, who has lined up on offensive play at wide receiver in the slot, boots it 24 yards to the 45-yard line. That gives DeMatha great field position, and while Phoebus appeared to get the start they wanted, the Stags are right where they want to be to score the game's first points.
5:00 PM: We're gearing up for kick-off. Phoebus' captains of Breon Baskerville, Darius Jones, Marshawn Williams and Walter Brantley go out for the coin toss and so do DeMatha's quartet of captains of Spencer Kleinrichert, Taiwan Deal, John Lovett and Ja'Whaun Bentley.
It'll be DeMatha's ball to start. The Stags return the opening squib kick by Phoebus to their own 43-yard line. On the first pass, Lovett's throw is incomplete, but not good news for the Phantoms as senior defensive end Troy Durham has to be helped off the field after suffering an injury.
After the short stoppage in play, DeMatha gains three yards on second down and then sophomore defensive back Robbie Robinson, a BCS-level prospect, makes a really solid play in coverage to on an incomplete pass. That'll bring on the punting unit for the Stags. A great start defensively for Phoebus, which is considered the underdog entering this matchup, an unusual spot for them.
4:55 PM: Welcome to the LIVE Blog from tonight's matchup in the 2013 Power Recruit Classic between the Phoebus Phantoms and the DeMatha Stags at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex at Harold Heischober Field.
A couple of quick notes from pre-game . . . DeMatha looks as big as advertised, skill positions and linemen. Phoebus' linemen are rather massive looking as well. We don't know for sure yet, but it appears that from watching warm-ups the starting QB for the Phantoms will be junior Joe Addison, a transfer from Hampton, instead of Terrell Toliver. We'll see if that's the case in just a few minutes, so buckle in, keep it locked here and follow along for updates as well as on Twitter @ hatfieldsports.
Matthew Hatfield has covered football and 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, and don't forget to listen to him every Saturday at 10AM on ESPN Radio 94.1, plus watch him on the Cox 11 Sports Report.