Phantoms Beat Rival, Move to 10-0

background:yellow;mso-highlight:yellow'>Phantoms Pull Away Late Versus Rival:
"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Avenging last year's overtime loss in the regular
season finale, the Phoebus Phantoms scored two touchdowns in the fourth
quarter, one on offense and the other on defense, to break a 21-all tie against
their archrival, defeating the Hampton Crabbers 35-21 in front of over 5000
fans on Thursday night at Darling Stadium.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>With the victory, Phoebus concluded its regular season
with a perfect 10-0 record for the fifth time in six years and secured no worse
than the #2 seed for the upcoming Eastern Region Division 5 Playoffs.
style=> While Hampton leads the all-time series 30-14,
the Phantoms have now won seven of the past eight meetings against the Crabbers.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"It was a very hard-fought game.
style=> You've got to tip your hat to Hampton and
their coaching staff. They keep their
guys ready to go. The thing is we'll
probably see them again, so our kids have to really learn that team over there
has a lot of fight in them," commented Phoebus Head Football Coach
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Jeremy Blount, who took over for
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Stan Sexton at the midway point.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"We were able to get the job done, but I can definitely
foresee those guys coming back, fighting harder, wanting it even more, so we've
got to learn from this and can't keep it close."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>If the two teams meet again, it would come on November
16th at Darling Stadium in the regional semifinals.
style=> Their last encounter in the postseason came
in the 2010 Eastern Region Division 5 Championship game, which Phoebus won with
a touchdown pass on fourth down late in the fourth quarter.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Versatile senior Richie
Staton delivered the nail in the coffin for
Hampton with his 24-yard interception return for a touchdown with 31 seconds
remaining. He also made eight tackles,
three for loss during the game, making up for a blunder early in the contest
when he muffed a punt, leading to a 50-yard touchdown run by
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Roscoe Hale that gave Hampton a 14-6

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Early in the game, I messed up by dropping the punt,
but my team kept me alive as they do every game," noted Staton,
who picked up his first offer from ODU this week.
style=> "We stuck together, they told me that I would
get it back and I believed them. We
worked much harder in the second half and came through.
style=> I felt like it was up to me.
style=> After I scored, I cried because I don't like



"Verdana","sans-serif"'>For Phoebus, this win capped another undefeated regular
season as they continue their 'drive for five,' which means five postseason
victories away from a record fifth consecutive VHSL Group AAA Division 5 state
title. The Phantoms have won 20
postseason games in a row, and haven't lost a region playoff game since 2005
when Hampton defeated them in the regional title game.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>After a coaching change during the season, seeing their
top player get suspended for two games after an incident at practice and a
couple of close scares from Heritage and Bethel, the Phantoms enter the
playoffs as one of the favorites again, despite having to overcome some hurdles
along the way.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"We've got a lot of adversity that we've been facing,"
Blount pointed out. "These guys have to
keep focusing at what we've got coming at us.
Every week people are going to come at us, so I look at this week like
no other. This was a good atmosphere, we
knew it was going to be tough and it really prepped us for the playoffs."

mso-highlight:yellow'>Punishing Pittman:
On 28 carries, senior tailback Tony
Pittman had another star effort for the Phantoms, rushing for 178 yards and
two touchdowns. He gained 134 of those
yards after half-time.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Most impressively was perhaps the fact this came
against a Hampton defense that pitched a shutout in each of their last five

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Tell you what, they played him so well, those stats right
there are surprising to me," admitted Blount.
"He ran hard, had to fight for everything he got, but they played him
well, so that's something for him to build on."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Pittman set the tone to start the third quarter,
breaking the long run that Hampton's defense seldom ever gives up.
style=> His 65-yard touchdown run gave the Phantoms a
21-14 advantage only 21 seconds into the third period.
style=> From there, 11 of his next 12 carries were
between three and six yards, biting off small, yet solid chunks.

background:yellow;mso-highlight:yellow'>Always High Intensity:
"Verdana","sans-serif"'>You can't simulate the intensity of a Hampton versus
Phoebus game. Physical plays on both
sides of the ball, talented athletes with speed as well and teams that are
normally evenly matched when they get together.
If there's an edge for either team, it's razor-thin and hardly

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The players sense the big-game atmosphere, pressure
from the crowd and find no trouble getting hyped.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I told Coach Blount that this was the hardest game
I've ever played," Staton stated.
style=> "The crowd is real into it, it's very intense
and any time you messed up a little bit, everybody saw it, so it's kind of like
College Football."

Blocking Bullies:
line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>To pave the way for a
runner that could get to 2000 yards on the ground following the playoffs in
spite of missing two games this year, it means those guys on the offensive line
must be doing something right.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The unit going from left to right of
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Harry Lewis,
normal'>Jamal Earls,
normal'>Tyreek Bailey,
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Walter Brantley,
normal'>Mark Wilson and Anthony
Burrell did such a respectable job than none of Phoebus' three main ball
carriers of Pittman, Atavius
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Matthews or
normal'> Lane lost yardage on any of their 36 attempts.
style=> They didn't let Hampton's defensive line get
the kind of penetration they thrive on to disrupt the rhythm of a team's

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Blount went on to comment about his line, offering up
plenty of praise for the individuals that help make the strong rushing attack

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Very good job, kid was solid tonight offensively and
defensively," he said of Lewis, a starter on the d-line as well.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"They were doing a lot inside on the interior and our
guards, Jamal and Walt, were able to dig those guys out," he added of the guards.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Bailey at center played hard tonight, too.
style=> People were keying on him because they felt
if you line up with somebody in front of him, they might be able to pressure

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Then over at right tackle they used Wilson, an ODU
commit to play defensive end, and Burrell.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Those guys were solid.
For Mark to be able to do what he did at the defensive end and help
carry the load on offense, we needed that," Blount added.

yellow'> Five: Take a glance
at the statistics and one might be scratching its head, trying to figure out
how exactly Hampton lost this game. They
finished with 299 total yards in 56 plays compare to 231 total yards on 46
plays for Phoebus.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>In addition, Hampton out-gained Phoebus by 100 yards in
the first half and lost by two touchdowns.
Two different players in Hale and Virginia Tech commit
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Deon Newsome rushed for 100 yards on
the evening, something you never see done against a Phoebus defense, and they
were able to hold Pittman in check to 44 yards on 14 carries in the first half.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>So what ended up hurting Hampton?
style=> They lost the turnover ball with Phoebus getting
three takeaways and the Crabbers only getting two.
style=> Furthermore, what really hurt them was
shooting themselves in the foot with penalties.
The Crabbers were flagged for five delay of
game penalties, part of why their offense bogged down in the second half and
even following a superb 10-play, 69-yard scoring drive that took 5:16 off the
clock to open the game.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>If the Crabbers want to win their first region crown in
seven years, they'll have to be crisper in their overall execution.

115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Postgame Audio with Phoebus Coach
Jeremy Blount
Johnson's Photo Feature


Tony Pittman - - 28Car. 178Yds. 2TD's
Terrell Toliver - - 4-7 for 56Yds. 1-0TD/Int. ratio
Atavius Matthews - - 5Car. 19Yds.
Da'Quan Lane - - 3Car. 10Yds. TD; 4 Tackles
Troy Durham - - 2Rec. 38Yds. TD
Khaaliq Fletcher - - 2Rec. 18Yds.
Richie Staton - - 8 Tackles, 3TFL, INT TD
Dre'Von Badger - - 7 Tackles, Fumble Recovery
Harry Lewis - - 5 Tackles, 2TFL, Sack

Deon Newsome - - 3-13 for 39Yds. 1-1TD/Int. ratio; 20Car.
Roscoe Hale - - 13Car. 100Yds.
Marshawn Williams - - 9Car. 25Yds;
2Rec. 23Yds.
Daquin Moore - - 1Rec. 16Yds. TD; 4 Tackles
Troy Garrett - - 11 Tackles, Sack, Fumble Recovery
Malik Brown - - 8 Tackles
Daunte Wilson - - 7 Tackles
Joemel Redd - - 7 Tackles,



115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";text-decoration:none;text-underline:
none'>Matthew Hatfield
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>
has covered Eastern Region Football & Basketball since 2004 for
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>, part of the
Network. Check out
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115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'> for more sports related updates,
and you can also read his work in the
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To contact Matthew, please e-mail
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>, and don't forget to listen to him
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