The rain that ruined Menchville's homecoming parade was predictable. The demolition by Phoebus at Friday night's game was an absolute certainty.
The Phantoms scored on their first eight possessions, held Menchville to minus-42 total yards and had a running clock the entire second half in a 63-0 pounding at Todd Stadium. Former Monarch Shawne Alston rushed for 125 yards on 11 carries, and seven Phoebus players scored touchdowns on a rainy night.
When the third-ranked team in the state goes against an opponent that has won only twice, you kind of expect a margin like this. Still, the Phantoms impressed their coach.
"I'll be honest with you — I never count anything until it's on the scoreboard," Phoebus coach Bill Dee said. "But I've been real pleased with these kids coming out and playing hard, especially after such an emotional (42-6 win over Hampton) last week.
"I told them this game is just as important as last week's game. You've got to get a 'W' and keep on getting better."
Phoebus (8-0, 7-0 Peninsula District) certainly didn't need any help, but it got some early when, on the Monarchs' first possession, the snap sailed over punter Cris Courtney's head. He tracked it down at the 5-yard line, where the Phantoms took over.
They needed two plays to score, and the rout was on. Quarterback Tajh Boyd threw three touchdown passes in the first half, two to tight end DaQuan Romero and one to wideout Markell Wilkins.
"We just came out and hoped to execute on every play," Boyd said. "I don't want to call it a tune-up game, but we just tried to get everything clicking on all cylinders."
Despite only 37 offensive plays, the Phantoms had 345 total yards. Their numbers would have been better if not for the running clock and their excellent field position all night. Phoebus took only six snaps on its side of the midfield stripe.
The Phantoms also got touchdowns from their special teams (a 56-yard punt return by Colby Goodwyn) and their defense (a 29-yard return of a fumble by Anthony Rhodes).
"A lot of people got to touch the ball," Dee said, "so I was happy."
Menchville (2-6, 1-6) simply had no chance on offense. Of their 36 plays, 13 resulted in negative yardage.
"I thought we would have a little more success than we obviously did tonight," Menchville coach John Byron said. "I thought we'd at least be able to get some first downs and keep the chains moving a little bit.
"But they're a very good football team. There's a reason why they're the No. 3 team in the state now."
For Dee, these lopsided wins — Phoebus' closest margin of victory is 35 points — have presented some problems. He has to be smart about using his starters while making sure they get enough reps to prepare them for later.
Some of his assistants advised him not to play Boyd in the second half, but Dee let him come out and attempt two passes out of the shotgun. He completed both, and junior Paul Morant took over from there.
"That's the hardest thing," Dee said. "It gets difficult, but it's a good problem to have."
PHOEBUS 63, MENCHVILLE 0Phoebus 1428147 — 63 Menchville 0000 — 0 Pho—Romero 8 pass from Boyd (Crocker kick)
Pho—Wilkins 18 pass from Boyd (Crocker kick)
Pho—Davenport 1 run (Crocker kick)
Pho—Romero 35 pass from Boyd (Crocker kick)
Pho—Alston 9 run (Crocker kick)
Pho—Goodwyn 56 punt return (Crocker kick)
Pho—Morant 28 run (Crocker kick)
Pho—Goodwyn 38 run (Crocker kick)
Pho—Rhodes 29 fumble recovery return (Enderson kick)PhoMenFirst downs132Rushes-yards26-25428-minus 42Comp-Att-Int6-11-01-8-0Passing yards910Punts-avg.0-07-27.4Penalties-yards6-646-50Fumbles-lost0-02-1