Phoebus' first game in the single-elimination portion of its schedule looked a lot like the first 10 games: rout at halftime; running clock in the second half; rest the starters and play the reserves.
The No. 2 seed Phantoms stalled early, but revved their engine in the second quarter and eventually cruised to a 63-6 win against Churchland in an Eastern Region Division 5 quarterfinal Friday at Darling Stadium.
"I thought we played real good," Phantoms running back Shawne Alston said. "It took us a while to get started. At the end of the first quarter, it was 0-0, but we came out in the second quarter and picked up the tempo. The defense played good in the second quarter and we just got it going from there."
Alston rushed for 244 yards and two touchdowns in two-plus quarters of work, part of a 330-yard rushing night from the team. Alston and Colby Goodwyn took advantage of gaping holes that the offensive line opened.
Quarterback Tajh Boyd wasn't required to do much heavy lifting. He completed 3 of 7 passes for 107 yards and a touchdown before giving way to Paul Morant in the third period.
"The first quarter, we weren't ourselves," Boyd said. "The second quarter, we came out and executed pretty much what we wanted to do. I threw the ball pretty well, Shawne Alston ran great, the line blocked great."
The Phantoms (11-0) hung up 42 points in the second quarter, scoring on four of five possessions and returning two interceptions for touchdowns late in the first half to put the game out of reach.
"The first quarter wasn't as clean a quarter as we've played," Phoebus head coach Bill Dee said, "but the second quarter certainly made up for it."
Alston carried on 10 of 11 plays on Phoebus' first touchdown drive, then finished off a four-play drive with a touchdown plunge 21/2 minutes later.
The Phantoms' defense then gave the offense a short field, and Goodwyn took advantage, rushing 25 yards on two plays for a score and a 21-0 lead.
Goodwyn intercepted Churchland quarterback Wilonte Roscoe on the first play from scrimmage. Three plays later, Boyd hooked up with DaQuan Romero on a 59-yard catch-and-run for a 28-0 lead.
Morant and Chaz Robinson then came up with pick-sixes on consecutive Churchland possessions less than a minute-and-a-half apart. Morant returned his interception 31 yards, Robinson his 41 yards for a touchdown.
The Phantoms' defense was stout, holding No. 7 seed Churchland (6-5) to three yards in the second and third quarters. They sidelined Truckers quarterback Craig Brooks early with a separated shoulder, forcing Churchland to use Roscoe, a sophomore, and several others in direct-snap situations.
"They're a very strong team," Churchland coach Cedric Cradle said, "and they've been doing this for 20-some years. (Dee's) got those guys in tune, because they've been doing it for a while. ... My hat's off to those guys. They're seasoned. But our kids worked hard. We'll be back."
Phoebus gets Green Run in the regional semifinals next week. The Stallions beat Grassfield 49-17 in the same side of the playoff bracket.
"We try to approach every game the same," Boyd said. "We don't want to make any game seem bigger than what it is. Hopefully, we've got four more games left. It's a short season now. We came out and did what we're supposed to do."
PHOEBUS 63, CHURCHLAND 6
CHURCHLAND 0 0 0 6 - 6 PHOEBUS 0 42 21 0 - 63
Pho-Alston 11 run (Crocker kick)
Pho-Alston 2 run (Crocker kick)
Pho-Goodwyn 13 run (Crocker kick)
Pho-Romero 59 pass from Boyd (Crocker kick)
Pho-Morant 31 interception return (Crocker kick)
Pho-Robinson 41 interception return (Crocker kick)
Pho-Davenport 1 run (Crocker kick)
Pho-Robinson 5 pass from Morant (Crocker kick)
Pho-Robinson 2 run (Crocker kick)
Chu-McClenny 29 pass from Roscoe (kick failed)
Chu PhoFirst downs 8 18Rushes-yards 21-16 39-330Comp-Att-Int 12-25-3 3-8-1Passing yards 103 107Punts-avg. 6-29.5 1-30Penalties-yards 4-20 4-35Fumbles-lost 2-0 1-0Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times