NORFOLK — Three times in the last four years, Lake Taylor's season had ended with a loss to Phoebus. You could say the Titans paid the Phantoms back Friday night — with considerable interest.
Phoebus' 22-game winning streak in the postseason came to humiliating end with a 54-0 loss in the Eastern Region Division 5 final at Harbor Park. The Titans (13-0) reached the end zone on seven of their eight offensive possessions and handed Phoebus its worst loss in 27 years.
"I didn't expect to see us do what we did tonight," Phantoms interim coach Jeremy Blunt said. "That was not Phoebus football. That was not us.
"The kids have been through a lot. The team has been through a lot. We got to a point where maybe that lucky charm was out of our back pocket, man."
The dominance was staggering. Lake Taylor outgained Phoebus in total yards 399-30. The Phantoms' power running game picked up 10 yards — 244 below its per-game average — on 23 attempts. Tailback Tony Pittman, who came in averaging 176 yards a game, was held to 23 on 17 attempts.
"Today is my birthday and it's like, wow, I'm going home like this?" Pittman said. "Not what I expecting. I just wasn't able to get going. My O-line, they let me down, and I couldn't do anything."
The Titans, meanwhile, averaged nearly 10 yards a snap. Backs Brandon Moore and Daquan Davis both rushed for more than 100 yards (141 and 112, respectively). Quarterback Delmon Williams completed only five passes, but four of them went for touchdowns.
Simply, Lake Taylor owned the line of scrimmage all night.
"We wanted to cause what we call organized chaos," LT coach Hank Sawyer said. "When the linemen got in their stance, we wanted to move around and show them different looks. We were fortunate.
"We felt like stopping the run is our forte, so we felt pretty good that we could stop the run and force them to pass. That would play right into our hands."
It was Phoebus' worst loss since a 73-2 drubbing by Green Run in 1985. It was the program's third-worst loss since its first varsity season in 1976.
The first half was like a nightmare for the Phantoms (12-1). Five and a half minutes in, Williams hit wideout Jakale Pickney with 19-yard touchdown pass. It came on fourth-and-nine, one play after Pickney dropped a sure first down pass throw from Williams.
After Phoebus went three-and-out, Lake Taylor scored again on Davis' 39-yard run. With Phoebus going nowhere but backward, LT went up 20-0 on Williams' 55-yard touchdown throw to Pickney with 8:18 left in the third quarter.
The Phantoms went three-and-out for the fourth possession in a row, and Davis' 8-yard touchdown run made it 28-0 after the 2-point conversion.
Phoebus finally picked up a first down on its fifth drive, but that ended when quarterback Terrell Toliver fumbled while being sacked. Williams' 23-yard touchdown pass to Harry Freeman made it 34-0 with 22 seconds left in the half.
To make matters worse, tight end/defensive end Richie Staton was ejected in the first half after a fight broke out.
The second half was played with a running clock after Moore's 34-yard touchdown run made it 40-0 with 6:06 left.
"They jumped on us and we made mistake after mistake," Blunt said. "And we never climbed out of it."
LAKE TAYLOR 54, PHOEBUS 0
LT: Pickney 19 pass from Williams (Poole kick), 6:26.
LT: Davis 39 run (Poole kick), 2:40.
LT: Pickney 55 pass from Williams (kick failed), 8:18.
LT: Davis 8 run (Holmes pass from Williams), 4:23.
LT: Freeman 23 pass from Williams (kick blocked), :22.
LT: Moore 34 run (kick failed), 6:06.
LT: Holmes 14 pass from Williams (Poole kick), 4:30.
LT: Lynch 15 fumble recovery return (Poole kick), 3:36.
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