With Phoebus quarterback Tajh Boyd on the Darling Stadium sideline in sweat pants for Friday's contest against Heritage, the Phantoms looked to reserve Paul Morant to keep their high-octane offense chugging.
Though the offensive engine misfired at times, the junior did his part to keep it on track, throwing three long TD passes.
The defense did what it's done all year, stifling yet another opponent and recording its fourth straight shutout, to propel Phoebus to an easy 35-0 win while Boyd rested a sprained knee.
"Our defense is consistently there every week," said defensive end Demetrius Ward, who scored a touchdown when he scooted into the end zone after picking up a fumble in the third quarter.
"That's our goal every night, to hold the other team to zero points."
The only time Phoebus (5-0, 4-0 Peninsula District) has failed in that mission was in a 47-7 thrashing of Maury.
"Our defense has been playing like that all year. They come hard every play, and we've got great leadership," Phantoms coach Bill Dee said.
Phoebus held Heritage (1-4, 1-3) without a first down in the first half. Heritage didn't cross midfield until 10 minutes remained and netted only 16 yards of offense, all on the ground.
Heritage played respectable defense, though, and held Phoebus' leading rusher Shawne Alston in check.
Alston didn't notch a run of more than 10 yards until early in the second half and averaged just a bit over 4 yards per carry, running the ball 23 times for 96 yards. Coming into the game, he was averaging 7.3 yards.
But Morant's arm opened up some big-play opportunities for the Phantoms.
His first pass went 30 yards for a touchdown to fullback Chaz Robinson, capping an opening 55-yard drive.
After a series of short running plays, Morant flipped the ball to Robinson, and he zipped down the sideline for a 7-0 lead.
Phoebus rolled to a 14-0 lead on its next possession.
After a 21-yard pickup by Colby Goodwyn, Morant's second completion of the game went 38 yards for a touchdown when he connected with Omyn Newkirk on a crossing pattern.
"Paul stepped in and did a good job for his first start," Dee said.
After that early success, Morant cooled off and three straight drives stalled without points, leaving Phoebus with a 14-0 halftime edge.
For the game, Morant was 6 of 13 for 118 yards.
A nine-second span of the third quarter took all suspense out of the game as the Phantoms exploded for two touchdowns on a Dominik Davenport 1-yard TD burst and Ward's 2-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown.
Davenport's touchdown came with 6:22 left and capped a drive in which the Phantoms ran a hurry-up offense, marching 59 yards in seven plays.
Ward picked up a snap that sailed over the head of Heritage QB Terrance Malone on the next play from scrimmage.
When Morant lofted a 31-yard TD pass to DaQuan Romero on the first play of the fourth quarter, Phoebus had its 35-0 lead and triggered a running clock.
PHOEBUS 35, HERITAGE 0Heritage 0000 — 0 Phoebus 140147 — 35 P — Robinson 30 pass from Morant (Crocker kick)
P — Newkirk 38 pass from Morant (Crocker kick)
P — Davenport 1 run (Crocker kick)
P — Ward 2 fumble recovery (Crocker kick)
P — Romero 31 pass from Morant (Crocker kick)HerPhoFirst downs313Rushes-yards28-1642-188Passing yards0118Comp-Att-Int0-4-16-13-0Penalties-yards4-354-35Fumbles-lost4-21-0Punts-avg.7-30.62-34.5Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times