Lake Taylor Manhandles Phoebus 54-0

background:yellow;mso-highlight:yellow'>Titans Pummel Phantoms for Region Crown:
"Verdana","sans-serif"'>It's pretty safe to say the Lake Taylor Titans were fed
up with seeing their season end in the playoffs against the Phoebus
Phantoms. One day after Thanksgiving at
Harbor Park, the Titans feasted on the four-time defending State Champions to
the tune of 54-0 in the Eastern Region Division 5 Championship.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>With the victory, Lake Taylor improved its record to
13-0 overall on the season and claimed their first regional title in 30 years.
style=> For Phoebus, the loss ends their string of 22
straight postseason wins.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The Titans manhandled the Phantoms from start to
finish, out-gaining them 303-5 in the first half in building a 34-0 lead at
intermission. Lake Taylor came in having
lost each of their past five of their playoff meetings with Phoebus dating back
to 2002, including heart-breaking defeats last year and in 2009 in games where
they led before falling. This time, the
Titans weren't going to let it be close.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"We jumped out to a 14-0 lead last year, had our
opportunities to score a couple other times and we didn't.
style=> Before we got on the bus, I showed them the
second half of last year's film when we lost the game.
style=> It was very emotional before we ever got here
how we lost that game. We watched
Phoebus celebrate, and I challenged them not to feel like that again," declared
Lake Taylor Head Football Coach Hank Sawyer.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Phoebus is a second half team.
style=> They feel like they can come back on anybody,
and we watched them do that. We wanted
to jump back on them again and make sure that didn't happen.
style=> The kids want it bad.
style=> They want any kind of Championship they can
get. They told me in August they wanted
football to be over for them when it's over for the state and that's December

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>It was the most lopsided score in the history of
Eastern Region Championship football games.
Previously, the biggest blowout came in 1999 when Hampton thumped
Heritage 44-0.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Phoebus hadn't been shutout since Heritage blanked the
Phantoms 37-0 in 2000, scoring in 169 consecutive games.
style=> Furthermore, it was the fourth most
class=GramE>amount of points Phoebus has allowed in a game, third worst
ever defeat margin-wise and worst since Green Run routed them 73-2 back in

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Lake Taylor got it done not only with 414 total yards -
- 291 on the ground and 113 by air - - but also limited Phoebus to a season-low
13 yards, leading by 28 points before the Phantoms even picked up a first down.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"It was a close game with last year's team.
style=> This year, it wasn't," noted senior receiver
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Pinkney, who
was on the receiving end of two touchdown passes in the first half.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"A lot of people thought we were going to lose because
of previous years, but we were out to show this is a different year.
style=> At the beginning of the week, we watched film,
saw what they did well, practiced hard and we thought we were going to play
this well. The coaches told us to leave
it all on the field."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The usual suspects starred for Lake Taylor.
style=> Quarterback
normal'> Williams continued his efficient play by throwing four touchdown
passes to raise his season total to 32 without any turnovers (
style='mso-bidi-font-style:normal'>he only has 2INT's on the campaign).
style=> Both tailbacks,
normal'>Brandon 'Pork Chop' Moore and
normal'> Davis, rushed for over 100 yards, combining for three
touchdowns. Together, that dynamic duo
has produced 3065 yards and 39 rushing TD's.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The Titans took the field on Friday night with an
intensity, focus and determination. That
confidence level and swagger is what seems to be different with the 2012 squad.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"This goes all the way back to summer time
grinding. We made this a goal since the
summer time to beat Phoebus, took the road to Clemson and we came here to beat
Phoebus and go on to State's. We had to
get our win back from last year when we were on the field crying, dropping like
flies. That was a hurting feeling, so we
had to come back and get it for our team and we also wanted to get this one for
Coach Sawyer," commented Moore, the Eastern District Offensive Player of the

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"We still haven't played our best game yet and we're
just going to keep going and going until it's over.
style=> We feel it's our year to win it, but we have
to play each game one at a time in order to make it to the top.
style=> We've got to keep climbing that ladder and
class=GramE>there's two more to go, baby."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Lake Taylor's journey continues on December 1st in the
State Semis on the road at North Stafford, who defeated Mountain View 49-12 in
the Northwest Region Division 5 Championship.

mso-highlight:yellow'>Everybody Eats from the Table:
style=> That's how Coach Sawyer describes his
defense, and they must not have been satisfied with what they ate on turkey day
because they came back for another helping on Friday.
style=> The Titans suffocated Phoebus standout
running back Tony Pittman, limiting
powerful runner who had another 2000-yard season in his sights to just 18 yards
on 18 attempts to deny him of reaching that milestone on his birthday.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>At the forefront of Lake Taylor's chaotic and
aggressive, yet organized style of tenacious defense were Moore,
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Spellman, the co-Eastern District
Defensive Player of the Year, and
normal'>Shiheem Johnson.
style=> Spellman and Johnson recorded two tackles for
loss apiece and collected 17 total tackles.
Moore made three sacks alone, disrupting the timing for Phoebus freshman
QB Terrell Toliver
and proving to be bothersome for Phoebus' massive offensive line.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>It didn't end with those three either.
style=> Brandon
Lynch got his 18th sack of the season on the very first offensive play for
Phoebus. Lynch capped off his night with
a scoop and score, returning a fumble 23 yards for a touchdown in the fourth

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Lake Taylor's two BCS prospects from the Class of 2014
on the d-line, juniors Jalyn
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Holmes and
normal'> 'Big Money' Harris, gave the Phantoms problems all night long with
Harris controlling the middle and Holmes coming off the edge to notch eight
tackles. To go with his defensive
exploits, Holmes caught a touchdown pass and scored on a two-point conversion
offensively from his tight end position.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Against perhaps the fiercest defensive front he's faced
his entire career, Pittman only registered one run longer than five yards,
which was an 11-yard gain after half-time with the outcome not in doubt and a
running clock going.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"The plan was to stop the run," Holmes stated.
style=> "Whoever had the ball, we had to keep running
to the ball in a bad mood, keep playing a team defense and everybody had to do
their assignments. We kept our heads in
the game and we did what we had to do."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Even on the back end of the Lake Taylor defense,
class=SpellE>Pinkney, senior Donovan
Powell and sophomore
class=SpellE>Quinerly held things down in the secondary.
style=> Phoebus finished 2-for-12 passing for 18
yards with that trio breaking up seven passes.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>On offense, Lake Taylor hit the Phantoms with several
big-play weapons.
normal'>Harry Freeman returned after missing the past two games due to an
injury he sustained in the regular season finale against Norcom,
and the All-Eastern District First Team selection hauled in 12th touchdown pass
of the year. When the Phoebus defense
keyed in on Freeman, Holmes, Davis and Moore, that opened the door for
class=SpellE>Pinkney to have what could be considered his breakout
performance with a pair of receiving scores.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Paving the way for Davis and Moore was an offensive
line that has jelled with new faces up front.
Three starters in senior center Cliff
Arrington, junior tackle Justice
Gilbert and sophomore guard Anthony
Williams. Big Money and
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Fleming round out a starting unit that
gave up no sacks on the night, containing a Phoebus defensive line that
features a pair of Old Dominion commits in Mark
Wilson and Richie

mso-highlight:yellow'>Mind-Boggling Numbers:
style=> In the postseason, Lake Taylor has outscored
opponents 151-7. It was their fourth
shutout of 50-plus points on the year and seventh time they've racked up over
400 total yards on offense.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Defensively, the Titans held a Phantoms team averaging
253.5 yards rushing per contest to minus five yards on the ground.
style=> Maybe most impressively, they've given up
only 60 yards rushing on the entire season.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>For the Eastern District, this is only the fourth time
in 47 seasons a team from that league wins the regional crown.
style=> This version of the Titans join Granby's 1966
squad, Maury's 1972 team and Lake Taylor from 1982 on that exclusive list.

mso-highlight:yellow'>Holmes Comes Through on Promise:
style=> During the off-season, Jalyn
Holmes wasn't basking in the glory of scholarship offers from several of the
top College Football programs around the country.
style=> Nor was he resting on his laurels of being
rated among the nation's Top 100 rising junior prospects in the land.
style=> Instead, he made a vow that he would not lose
to Phoebus again.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"That's true," Holmes admitted.
style=> "I expected to feel more and I'm kind of numb
to it all right now. It should open some
eyes, but we have to still keep going because I just feel like we've got two
more and the job's not done. We've got
to finish the job."

style='background:yellow;mso-highlight:yellow'>End of a Dynasty?
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Phoebus
will not win its fifth straight state title, and while it would be extremely
over reactionary to think this team will suddenly be out of the Championship
mix moving forward, the question of is their run over is a fair one to ask now
that someone else will be hosting the D-5 hardware for the first time since

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Among some of the questions with the Phantoms going
into next year will be who coaches the team?
Jeremy Blount went from
defensive coordinator to Head Coach in September, replacing Stan Sexton following
an incident at practice.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The frightening part for Phoebus is that while they'll
move down to Division 4 next year with the new classification system going into
effect, they will have plenty of stiff competition, including Lake Taylor.
style=> Plus, the Titans only graduate eight seniors
from this year's team, chock full of talented underclassmen.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Usually, it's Phoebus annihilating the opposition.
style=> To be on the other end of a shellacking is
unfamiliar territory, but the Phantoms will have to go through Lake Taylor to
add to its trophy case in the future.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I'm just so happy for the kids and every kid that has
played at Lake Taylor, especially everyone that I have coached that has lost to
Phoebus or Hampton over the last 14 years I've been Head Coach," an overjoyed
Sawyer stated afterwards. "Everybody
played team offense, team defense and we came together and had a nice game.
style=> It's unbelievable."

Postgame Audio with
Lake Taylor Coach Hank Sawyer
Box Score Courtesy
Live Game


Taylor 54:
Delmon Williams - - 5-8 for 113Yds. 4-0TD/Int. ratio
Brandon 'Pork Chop' Moore - - 13Car. 141Yds. TD; 7 Tackles, 3 Sacks, 2FF
Daquan Davis - - 11Car. 113Yds. 2TD's
Jakale Pinkney - - 2Rec.
74Yds. 2TD's; 3PBU
Harry Freeman - - 1Rec. 23Yds. TD
Jalyn Holmes - - 1Rec. 14Yds. TD; 8 Tackles, TFL
Shiheem Johnson - - 10 Tackles, 2TFL
Jamel Spellman - - 7 Tackles, 2TFL

Tony Pittman - - 18Car. 18Yds.
Terrell Toliver - - 2-11 for 18Yds.
Troy Durham - - 1Rec. 12Yds.
Mark Wilson - - 6 Tackles
Atavius Matthews - - 5 Tackles, TFL, Forced Fumble
Kevin Lyles - - 5 Tackles


115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";text-decoration:none;text-underline:
none'>Matthew Hatfield
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