That goose egg Gloucester posted last week against Warwick, Phoebus coach Bill Dee knew, was something of a fluke. Until that night, the Dukes were averaging nearly 300 yards of total offense. And they feature one of the most dangerous players in the Peninsula District: Ray Harris.
Thursday night at Darling Stadium, the Phantoms found out Dee was right. Harris threw for 197 yards and ran for another 48, and Gloucester scored two touchdowns on a defense that had posted four straight shutouts. It wasn't enough — Phoebus waltzed to a 65-13 win — but Dee hopes it got their attention.
"I knew their last game was an aberration," Dee said. "They had been putting up big numbers all year, and I tried telling that to the kids. But let's face it, they came out flat. And he's a heck of a player."
As good as Harris is, he can't help much on defense. Even with quarterback Tajh Boyd missing his second consecutive game with a sprained knee, the Phantoms (6-0, 5-0 Peninsula District) were unstoppable. Literally.
Phoebus' nine possessions resulted in nine touchdowns. And two of them were one-play drives. Shawne Alston ran for three touchdowns, and six other Phantoms scored — including Dominik Davenport, who has six touchdowns in six games.
Alston finished with 185 yards on 15 carries, again not touching the ball in the fourth quarter. His first carry of the night was a 59-yard touchdown.
"The line was just opening up holes," he said. "And I just ran through them. They were really doing a great job of opening them up tonight."
Phoebus rushed for a season-best 382 yards on 28 attempts. For the game, the Phantoms averaged 15.2 yards per snap.
"We were very consistent on offense," Dee said. "We had a few penalties (six), but Paul continues to do a nice job for us."
That would be Paul Morant, who filled in for Boyd. He completed all three of his passes for 91 yards, including a pretty 27-yard touchdown to Markell Wilkins.
Defensively, Phoebus gave up 272 yards — more than it had in its previous three games combined. And when Harris sneaked in from a yard out with 4:12 left in the first quarter, the Phantoms had given up their first touchdown since the second quarter of the Maury game on Aug. 28.
"They were the last to score on us last year in the district, and they were the first to score on us this year," linebacker LoVante' Battle said. "When they first scored on us, it was a shock. And when they got their second, we said, 'No more of this.' "
Phoebus led 41-13 at the break and began the third quarter with a 70-yard kickoff return by Andre Griffin. When Morant hit Wilkins to make it 53-13, the running clock started with 7:13 left in the third quarter.
Next up, of course, is Hampton, the only other undefeated team in the PD entering tonight's game against Heritage. Dee sounded uncertain whether Boyd, who threw passes during warmups while wearing his jersey and blue jeans, would be able to play next week.
"We're still going week to week," he said. "I think he has a shot."
Either way, Phoebus vows to be ready.
"We're always ready for that game," Battle said. "And we're not going to play like we did tonight."
PHOEBUS 65, GLOUCESTER 13Gloucester7600 — 13Phoebus21201212 — 65 Pho—Robinson 2 blocked punt return (Crocker kick)
Glo—Harris 1 run (Clark kick)
Pho—Alston 59 run (Crocker kick)
Pho—Davenport 8 run (Crocker kick)
Pho—Goodwyn 3 run (Crocker kick)
Pho—Alston 37 run (Crocker kick)
Glo—Sisak 41 pass from Harris (kick failed)
Pho—Alston 3 run (kick failed)
Pho—Griffin 70 kickoff return (kick failed)
Pho—Wilkins 27 pass from Morant (kick failed)
Pho—Tolliver 3 run (pass failed)
Pho—Tolliver 53 run (run failed)GloPhoFirst downs1316Rushes-yards30-6028-382Passing yards21291Comp-Att-Int16-29-23-3-0Punts-avg.1-220-0Penalties-yards6-526-61Fumbles-lost1-02-1Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times