The philosophy was as obvious as it was simple. Two tight ends, a stacked I-formation in the backfield … and 270-pound Dominik Davenport at fullback.
Phoebus was going to run, run, run until Hampton stopped it. And the Crabbers never did, at least not on anything resembling a consistent basis.
The Phantoms rushed for 273 yards and dominated the line of scrimmage, both on offense and defense, in a 42-6 waxing Friday night at Darling Stadium. Tailback Shawne Alston rushed for a season-best 206 yards and three touchdowns on 33 carries. And the Phoebus defense stuffed Crabbers star Tron Martinez for a season-low 17 yards on nine attempts.
It was, pardon the cliché, smash-mouth football. And the Phantoms (7-0, 6-0 Peninsula District) did the smashing in handing Mike Smith his second-worst loss in 38 seasons as Hampton's head coach.
"Hey, sometimes you get beat," Smith said. "And sometimes you get the devil beat out of you."
Phoebus allowed Hampton (6-1, 5-1) only four first downs, three by penalty. With Martinez continuously bottled up, the Crabbers ended up with only 41 total yards. They also turned the ball over six times, five coming in the first half.
The Phantoms were simply too strong in the middle with Davenport and 255-pound Charlie Jones and too quick on the edge with ends DaQuan Romero and Demetrius Ward. Martinez's longest run of the night went for 5 yards (Hampton's lone touchdown). He also, uncharacteristically, fumbled twice.
"We knew we had to stop Tron because that's what they do," Romero said. "They go Tron left, Tron right, Tron left, Tron right. We knew we had to stop their running game because they don't like to pass very much."
All considered, it was something of a positive for Hampton that it trailed only 21-6 at halftime. The Phantoms had outgained the Crabbers 196-27 and taken 24 more snaps. Hampton also had turned it over five times, and Phoebus' average starting point for its six possessions was the Crabber 37.
But three times in the second quarter, the Phantoms stalled inside the Hampton 15. On the final play of the first half, Martinez and Tyrel Wilson stopped Alston short of the goal line.
"Yeah, we thought we let a couple of opportunities get away," Phoebus coach Bill Dee said. "We should have gotten at least one more (touchdown). And I was upset that we didn't have any timeouts because we had to use them earlier.
"But I said to them at halftime, if you keep playing the game on defense the way you are, there's not going to be a problem. And we just wanted to keep it simple."
Playing his first game since Sept. 19, when he sprained his knee, Phoebus quarterback Tajh Boyd completed 9 of 12 passes for 100 yards and a touchdown. But Dee didn't ask him to do too much, not with the line opening truck-sized holes.
Alston had 130 yards on 22 carries at halftime. In three games against Hampton, Alston has 443 yards on 93 attempts.
"Everybody knows we're going to run," he said. "It's just a matter of, can you stop us? But we really executed well tonight."
PHOEBUS 42, HAMPTON 6Hampton0600 — 6Phoebus210714— 42Pho—Romero 6 pass from Boyd (Crocker kick)
Pho—Alston 3 run (Crocker kick)
Pho—Battle 41 interception return (Crocker kick)
Ham—Martinez 5 run (kick failed)
Pho—Alston 3 run (Crocker kick)
Pho—Alston 4 run (Crocker kick)
Pho—Davenport 9 run (Crocker kick)HamPhoFirst downs422Rushes-yards21-2750-273Passing yards14106Comp.-att.-ints4-12-29-12-0Punts-avg.4-321-33Penalties-yards4-316-55Fumbles-lost4-43-1INDIVIDUAL STATISTICSRUSHING – Hampton: Martinez 9-17, Thomas 7-14, Watford 1-minus 10, Caver 2-5, Haney 1-1, Faulkner 1-0. Phoebus: Alston 33-206, Robinson 3-12, Boyd 3-7, Goodwyn 4-13, Davenport 6-33, Toliver 1-2.
PASSING – Hampton: Watford 4-10-1, 14; Roby 0-2-1, 0. Phoebus: Boyd 9-12-0, 100
RECEIVING – Hampton: Martinez 4-14. Phoebus: Romero 2-36, Wilkins 3-35, Newkirk 2-22, Robinson 1-8, Goodwyn 1-(-2).Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times