Football News 2014 Football News 2014 Phillips Write-up
2014 Phillips Write-up PDF Print E-mail
Written by Allen J. Dunavant   
Monday, 17 November 2014 00:00
The Lions advanced to the quarter-finals of the state play-offs after an exciting overtime victory over the Phillips High School Bears on Friday night. Hubbertville played host to the  Phillips Bears (10 -1) of Bear Creek who advanced to the second round with a victory over Wadley who finished the season with a (7 - 4) record.

Serving as captains for the Lions were Clay Gary, Lathan Holliday, Joseph Rutledge, and Nick Smith. The Bears won the coin toss and elected to receive the opening kick with Josef Bates and Tyler Crumpton lining up deep to receive Dax Benton's kick. Crumpton made the reception at the 14-yard line and was brought down for the stop by Nathan Young at the Bears 39-yard line. First down brought Bates around the right end to the Hubbertville 49-yard line with N. Young on the stop again. Sticking with Bates on the rushing attack the Bears gained an additional two yards with McKain Hubbert and D.J. Pitts, Jr. making the tackle. The Lions jumped off-sides giving the Bears an additional five yards setting up second down and 3, where Bears quarterback Austin Campbell went to the passing mode connecting with his receiver along the left side line with Vess Benton making the solo tackle just short of the 8-yard line to save the score. Bates took the hand-off around the right side of the line of scrimmage and was met by Gabe Stidham and Zack Reeves for the stop after a three-yard gain. Second down brought N. Young and Anthony Dillard rushing into the backfield to make the stop on Bates resulting in a one-yard loss. Determined to reach the end zone, Campbell went back to the air attack and connected with Crumpton in the left corner of the end zone to put the visiting Bears on the scoreboard first with 9:19 showing on the clock. The two point conversion on the PAT was no-good as N. Young, Kris Parson and M. Hubbert gang tackled Crumpton deep in the backfield leaving the score standing at 6 - 0.

Campbell's ensuing kick was fielded at the Lion 43-yard line by Reeves who took an immediate knee. V. Benton brought the Lion offensive front to the line and on first down pitched the ball out to D. Benton who scrambled around the right end to the Bears 40-yard line for a 16-yard rushing attack before Crumpton could make the solo tackle. First down brought N. Young with the hand-off over left tackle for a five-yard gain with Austin Clay on the tackle. Austin Palmer took the ball up the middle for a four-yard gain with Joshua Hyde, Tyler Britnell and a host of others on the stop. Facing third and one, N. Young got the call to carry advancing the ball up the middle for another first down at the 28-yard line and keeping the drive alive. First down brought D. Benton out of the backfield following blockers over the left side of the line of scrimmage and breaking free cutting back across the middle to the 7-yard line before Hyde was able to bring him down to save the touchdown. Setting deep in the Bears red-zone, A. Palmer took the hand-off up the middle but was met by Clay and a host of other Bear defenders after a two yard gain. With the snap of the ball, D. Benton found the end zone rushing over right tackle for the score with 5:23 remaining in the first quarter of play. On the PAT, V. Benton who serves as the holder on the kicking attempt took the snap and connected in the right corner of the end zone with G. Stidham to put the Lions in the lead 8 - 6.

D. Benton's ensuing kick was received at the 11-yard line by Crumpton who was met at the 29-yard line by John Upton, Nathan Young and a host of others for the stop. First down brought Bates out of the backfield but N. Young was on the stop after a 3-yard gain. Clay took the pitch-out from Campbell on second down and rambled around the left side of the line of scrimmage reaching the 40-yard line where K. Parson and A. Dillard made the stop. Parson and Dillard continued their domination and rushed into the backfield to bring Britnell down for a five-yard loss on first down. Second down brought the passing attack with Campbell connecting with Crumpton with the slant pass and D. Benton, Caleb Palmer and others making the stop. The Bears were penalized for an illegal procedure moving the ball back to the 38-yard line where they faced third down and 12-yards. Sticking with the passing attack proved unsuccessful as Campbell's throw fell incomplete in an attempt to connect with Hyde along the right side line. Fourth down brought crumpton lining up in the backfield to punt with the ball rolling dead at the Lions 29-yard line.

The Lions moved the ball down the field quickly on first down with D. Benton taking the hand-off out of the backfield following his blockers around the right side of the line of scrimmage, before cutting back up the middle to reach Lion 40-yard line. A. Palmer was met behind the line by Bates and Zachary Greer on first down for a one-yard loss. Second down brought D. Benton with the ball around the right end for a six-yard gain with Greer making the solo tackle. N. Young took the hand-off up the middle on third down but was stopped by Crumpton and a host of others after a two-yard gain. Facing fourth down and three-yards, M. Hubbert dropped back to punt the ball away but D. Benton took the direct snap and rushed behind blockers up the middle for the first down at the Bears 49-yard line as the first quarter of play came to an end.

A. Dillard took the hand-off fighting his way over left guard for a five-yard gain on first down with A. Palmer picking up an additional four yards on second down before Ryan Wilkinson, Greer and others could bring him down for the stop. Facing third down and one-yard, A. Dillard rushed over left guard to the 33-yard line where he was tripped up for the stop. With a new set of downs, V. Benton called upon younger brother D. Benton to advance the ball deeper and he took the hand-off over the left side of the line of scrimmage for a moment al gain and following the play the Bears were penalized for a personal foul moving the ball inside the red-zone to the 14-yard line. First down brought N. Young out of the backfield with the rushing attack for a three-yard gain with Greer and a host of others making the saving stop. Wilkinson, Crumpton, and others met D. Benton at the line of scrimmage resulting in no gain bringing up third down just short of the eight-yard line. Breaking from the huddle, V. Benton went to the air connecting with D. Benton over the middle for the touchdown with 8:05 remaining in the first half of play. The PAT kick by D. Benton was perfectly executed with Tre Tranum snapping the ball and V. Benton holding. The Lions increased their lead 15 - 6.

Bates and Crumpton lined up deep to receive the ensuing kick from D. Benton with N. Young, G. Stidham and C. Palmer making the stop on Bates immediately after the catch at the 21-yard line. First down brought Bates around the right end with Reeves on the stop at the 31-yard line. Campbell went to the air attack and connected with Crumpton for another first down at the Bears 41-yard line with D. Benton making the solo tackle. Bates took the hand-off out of the backfield rushing up the middle but N. Young remained in position to make the tackle after a 4-yard gain. Bates took the pitch-out down the left side line for a five yard gain with D. Benton and Reeves on the tackle leaving the Bears facing third down and one-yard at their own 49-yard line. K. Parson and G. Stidham met Britnell in the backfield for the stop and a two-yard loss bringing up fourth down and three for the Bears with the ball resting just short of their own 48-yard line. Bates got the call to fight for the needed yardage and rushed over right guard to the Lions 46-yard line where G. Stidham and N. Young made the tackle. First down brought Campbell going back to the air attack in an attempt to connect with Hyde but the pass fell incomplete with A. Palmer tight on coverage for the Lions. Second down brought another passing attempt but the ball was in and out of the hands of Crumpton deep down field leaving the Bears facing third down. Campbell called Hyde's number and pitched the ball back to him with the rushing attack gaining seven-yards before K. Parson and G. Stidham were able to bring him down for the stop. Facing fourth down and three-yards, the Phillips coaching staff elected to fight for the needed yardage. Campbell found himself scrambling deep in the backfield with pressure from M. Hubbert, A. Dillard, and N. Young forcing him to throw the ball down field without a receiver in the area and turning the ball over on downs to the Lions.

V. Benton brought the Lion offense to the line of scrimmage and called upon D. Benton to move the ball down field on first down. D. Benton took the pitch-back and fought his way up the middle behind blockers then cut to the outside fighting his way up field to the Lions 49-yard line for a first down. N. Young took the hand-off over left guard on first down and fought his way to the outside of the field racing down the right side line to the Bears 26-yard line where he was ruled out of bounds. First down brought the pitch-back to D. Benton who fought his way over the left side of the line of scrimmage for another first down at the 13-yard line for a 13-yard rushing attack before Bates could make the saving tackle. N. Young went up the middle behind blocker for a two-yard gain and on second down D. Benton rushed around the right side of the line of scrimmage to the 8-yard line with Bates and a host of angry defenders making the stop. Facing third down and five-yards, D. Benton took the hand-off from V. Benton then pitched the ball back to A. Palmer who connected thru the air on the passing attack with Reeves who made the reception for the touchdown in the left side of the end zone with 1:34 remaining in the first half. The PAT kick by D. Benton was perfect and the scoreboard showed the Lions in the lead 22 - 6.

Clay made the reception on D. Benton's ensuing kick at the 31-yard line and raced up field and out of bounds at the Bears 48-yard line just before C. Palmer could make the hit. First down brought a pass connection from Campbell to Crumpton with V. Benton making the tackle at the Lions 42-yard line. Sticking with the passing game, Crumpton overthrew Britnell on first down. On second down V. Benton was in position to make the play knocking the ball away from the reach of Crumpton and on third down C. Palmer forced the incompletion intended for Hyde to leave the Bears facing fourth down and ten-yards at their 42-yard line. Following a time-out the Bears lined up to fight for the needed yardage and Campbell went back to the air attack connecting with Crumpton over the middle with C. Palmer making the saving tackle at the 15-yard line. First down brought another pass intended for Hyde down the right side line but the ball fell to the ground with C. Palmer on coverage once again. With the snap of the ball Campbell connected with Crumpton in the slant pass over the middle with Crumpton fighting off tacklers and advancing into the end zone for the score with 17.2 seconds remaining until the half-time break. Campbell connected on the pass with Britnell for the two-point conversion and the Bears let the Lions know that their fight remained within although the scoreboard read 22 - 14 in favor of the Lions .

Campbell's ensuing kick was fielded by N. Young at his own 33-yard line where he took a knee. First down brought A. Palmer with the hand-off around the left side of the line of scrimmage fighting his way across mid-field to the Lion 43-yard line where Clay made the tackle as time expired on the first half of play.

N. Young and A. Palmer lined up deep to receiving the second half opening kick from Campbell with A. Dillard making the reception at the 34-yard line and fighting up field to the Lions 44-yard line where a host of Bear defenders made the stop. First down brought Bates, Wilkinson, Greer and Daniel Mann into the backfield for the stop on A. Dillard resulting in a one-yard loss. D. Benton took the hand-off on second down for a one yard gain with Wilkinson making the solo tackle. V. Benton connected on a pass with A. Dillard who fought up field to the Lion 49-yard line with Bates and Britnell forcing him out of bounds for the stop. Facing fourth down and five-yards, M. Hubbert was sent into the backfield to punt the ball away with the ball rolling out of bounds at the Phillips 30-yard line.

Four plays later the Bears were celebrating after Bates took the pitch back from Campbell and rushed 42-yards down the left side line untouched for the quick score. The two point conversion was unsuccessful as Campbell's pass attempt to Clay fell incomplete leaving the score 22 - 20 with 8:07 remaining in the third quarter of play. The Bears moved the ball down field quickly on the scoring drive with a rushing attack by Bates and Crumpton followed by pass completion along the left side line to Britnell who advanced the ball to the Lions 42-yard line before running out of bounds.

A. Palmer and A. Dillard lined up deep to receive the ensuing kick from Campbell with A. Dillard making the reception at the 24-yard line and rambling up field to the Bears 46-yard line where Bates and Britnell finally brought him down. First down brought A. Palmer out of the backfield with the ball fighting his way down to the Bears 33-yard line where Bates and Britnell brought him down. N. Young took the ball up the middle for a seven yard gain with Bates and Clay on the stop and on second down A. Palmer rushed the ball around the left end for the first down at the 21-yard line with Hyde making the saving tackle. First down brought D. Benton with the pitch-back around the right side of the line of scrimmage for a nine yard gain before Crumpton, Clay, Britnell and a host of others managed to take him down for the stop. N. Young took the hand-off up the middle reaching the 3-yard line for a 9-yard rushing attack with Wilkinson, Greer and others making the tackle leaving the Lions with a first down and goal. D. Benton took the hand-off over the right side of the line of scrimmage but was ruled down just near the goal line. With the nose of the ball almost touching the goal line, A. Palmer took the hand-off and fought his way forward but Britnell, Greer, Mann and a host of others made the stop just shy of the end zone. Third down brought D. Benton out of the backfield with the ball around the right side of the line of scrimmage into the end zone for the touchdown with 3:23 remaining in the third quarter. The rushing attack marked D. Benton's third touchdown of the evening, two rushing and one thru the air. The PAT kick by D. Benton was blocked leaving the score standing at 28 - 20 in favor of the Lions.

Momentum stuck with the Bears on the ensuing kick as D. Benton's kick was fielded and bobbled by Bates at the 6-yard line with Bates scooping up the loose ball at the four-yard line and racing back down field for a 96-yard kick-off return. The two-point conversion on the PAT was unsuccessful as Campbell's pass was batted into the air at the line of scrimmage and intercepted by G. Stidham leaving the score at 28 - 26 in favor of the Lions with 3:04 left in the third quarter.

A. Dillard and D. Benton lined up deep to receive the ensuing kick from Campbell but the ball rolled into the end zone setting V. Benton and the Lion offense up at their own 20-yard line. First down brought V. Benton running the ball out of the backfield around the left side of the field where he took a vicious hit out-of-bounds by a couple of Bear defenders adding an additional 15-yards at the end of the run. Facing first down at the Bears 45-yard line, D. Benton took the hand-off and rushed over the right side of the line of scrimmage for a four yard gain with Austin Byrd and Wilkinson on the tackle. Second down brought N. Young over left guard but Greer and a host of other defenders were on the stop leaving the Lions facing third down and four-yards. D. Benton took the hand-off but was met at the line of scrimmage for the stop by Bates, Wilkinson, Greer, Mann and others bringing up fourth down and three for the Lions. M. Hubbert lined up in the backfield to punt the ball away but D. Benton took the direct snap advancing to the 37-yard line where he was met by a host of angry defenders for the stop resulting in the ball over on downs to the Bears.

First down brought Bates with the ball out of the backfield around the right side of the line of scrimmage and cutting to the outside where he raced to down to the Lions 20-yard line before A. Palmer and V. Benton could make the saving tackle. First down brought more of Bates with the rushing attack around the right end with M. Hubbert in position to make the stop at the 15-yard line as the third quarter of play came to a close. Clay took the hand-off on second down but was brought down for the stop in the backfield by G. Stidham and D.J. Pitts, Jr. resulting in a ten-yard loss. Facing third down and 15-yards, Campbell connected with the passing attack to Crumpton in the end zone with 11:05 remaining in the ball game to give the Bears the lead once again. Bates took the ball across the goal line for the two-point conversion and the scoreboard read 34 - 28 in favor of the Bears. The Lions found themselves trailing by a touchdown with the point differential at six, the same as it was only9:19 showing on the scoreboard earlier in the opening quarter of the contest.

N. Young made the reception on the ensuing kick by Campbell at the 30-yard line where he immediately took a knee setting V. Benton and the Lion offense up for the drive. First down brought A. Palmer with the ball out of the backfield but he was met immediately at the line of scrimmage by Clay and a host of others for the stop. Facing second down and ten-yards, V. Benton went to the air attack attempting to connect with G. Stidham but the pass was intercepted by Crumpton who returned the ball to the Lions 19-yard line with M. Hubbert making the saving tackle to prevent the score.

On first down A. Dillard fought across the line of scrimmage bringing Bates down in the backfield for a two-yard loss. Second down brought Campbell in a passing attempt to Crumpton in the end zone but V. Benton was on coverage along with M. Hubbert applying pressure to defuse the play. Third down brought another passing attempt but V. Benton stepped in front of the ball making the interception fighting his way back out to the Lion 15-yard line sealing the quick scoring threat from the Bears.

First down brought D. Benton out of the backfield rushing around the right side of the line of scrimmage behind blockers and then cutting back up the middle fighting-off would be tacklers for a 24-yard rushing attack. Crumpton, Bates and a host of other defenders made the tackle. Facing first down at the Lions 39-yard line, A. Dillard got the call to fight for needed yardage moving the ball up the middle to the fifty-yard line for an eleven yard gain with Clay making the solo tackle. The ball was moved back to the Lions 34-yard line as officials determined an illegal procedure penalty was warranted against the Lions. Facing first down and fifteen-yards, V. Benton went back to the air attack with Hyde intercepting the pass at the line of scrimmage and fighting his way down the left side of the line of scrimmage to reach the Lions 20-yard line.

Crumpton lined up at quarterback for the Bears on first down and was sacked immediately by N. Young after receiving the snap for a one-yard loss. Campbell returned under center as quarterback on second down and connected with Crumpton on a short pass but D. Benton, M. Hubbert, N. Young, Parson and others where quick on the stop after a 1-yard gain. Bates took the hand-off on third down advancing around the left side of the line of scrimmage for a three-yard gain with A. Palmer, N. Young and Parson on the tackle to set-up fourth down and seven for the Bears at the Lions 16-yard line. Campbell attempted a pass connection to Hyde in the left corner of the end zone but A. Palmer remained on coverage making the play by knocking the ball out the end zone and turning the ball over on downs to the Lions in their own red zone at the 16-yard line.

D. Benton took the hand-off from V. Benton on first down and fought around the right end for a thirteen-yard gain to the 29-yard line before Clay could bring him down. First down brought misery for the Lion offense as flags were thrown for another illegal procedure moving the Lions back to the 24-yard line. Facing first down and fifteen-yards, N. Young took the hand-off around the right side of the line of scrimmage and was met by Bates and Greer for the stop after a seven-yard gain. D. Benton got the call to fight for the needed yardage and took the hand-off to the 38-yard line with Wilkinson, Byrd and others on the stop. Facing third down and inches, D. Benton took the ball around the right end advancing to the Lions 49-yard line for another first down with Byrd, Wilkinson and a host of defenders making the tackle. First down brought N. Young out of the backfield with the ball for a three-yard gain with Greer, Clay and Wilkinson making the stop. A. Palmer moved the ball an additional two-yards with Greer, Britnell and others making the stop and setting up third down and five-yards for the Lions at the Bears 46-yard line. V. Benton called upon D. Benton to fight for the needed yardage and D. Benton took the hand-off racing around the right end fighting his way to the Bears 28-yard line before Crumpton and Byrd could bring him down for the stop. Sticking with D. Benton on the rushing attack proved successful as he took the ball deeper on the Bears defense rushing once again around the right end to reach the 13-yard line with Crumpton and Britnell making the saving tackle. First down brought N. Young up the middle with the hand-off for a three-yard gain with Greer, Wilkinson and others making the stop. On second down, V. Benton called his own number and was stopped just shy of the first down marker near the four-yard  line by Greer Wilkinson and a host of determined defenders. Facing third down and inches, A. Dillard took the hand-off and fought his way over right guard standing up for the score with 1:04remaining in the ball game. The PAT kick by D. Benton sailed right and the score stood tied at 34 - 34.

D. Benton's ensuing kick was fielded at the Bears 46-yard line and downed immediately by Mann setting Campbell and the Phillips Bears offense up with short field position. First down brought Campbell scrambling from A. Dillard and M. Hubbert in an attempt to make a pass connection with Crumpton but V. Benton made the saving play by intercepting the pass and returning it to the Bears 41-yard line where he stepped out of bounds with 49.3 seconds remaining in the game. V. Benton was sacked at the line of scrimmage on first down by a host of Bear defenders. Second down brought a pass connection from V. Benton to G. Stidham around the right end with G. Stidham pitching the ball out to D. Benton who raced down the side line and out of bounds at the 44-yard line. With time running down quickly the Lion coaching staff elected to take the game into over-time allowing time to expire on the clock.

With the game in over-time the Lions were first to take possession of the ball at the 10-yard line. On first down D. Benton took the hand-off and rambled behind his blockers along the right side of the line of scrimmage reaching the 1-yard line where he was ruled down by the officials.  With the snap of the ball, A. Dillard took the hand-off and fought his way up the middle into the end zone for the score putting six points on the scoreboard for the Lions. The PAT attempt was unsuccessful for the Lions as D. Benton's kick was no-good leaving the Lions chances of advancing deeper into the end of the season play-offs in jeopardy.

The Bears offensive front lined up for their opportunity to find the end zone in over-time with the ball placed at the 10-yard line. First down brought misery for the Bears as the ball was fumbled by Bates after the hand-off but following the scramble, he managed to recover the loose ball. Facing second down at the 12-yard line, Campbell fumbled the ball on the snap and D.J. Pitts, Jr. was in position to recover the fumble securing the over-time victory for the Lions and ending all hopes for the Bears. The atmosphere on the field at the end of the game was a mixture of emotions from both teams as players were visibly overcome by the results and the final outcome with the heart wrench ending to such a physically hard-fought contest.
The Lions will board buses and head east to meet up with the Ragland Purple Devils in the quarter-finals of the play-offs on Friday night. Game time is 7pm. The Purple Devils are (11 - 1) on the season with their only loss coming to Donoho back on October 17 in their home stadium. The Lions now stand at (11 - 0).

Comments from Head Coach Lamar Harris:
"What a game! It appeared that we had control of the game late in the second quarter but they found a way and fought back with a small amount of time remaining in the first half and put a quick score on the board just proving that we had actually let the momentum get away from us. We had hoped to take the momentum into the locker room at the half but that was not the case. They took the momentum away and then brought that momentum back to the field following the half-time break and it showed as we started the second half of play. Our offense actually played very well in the first half and did everything we had hoped for, but didn't show up at all during the third quarter of play. We just couldn't move the ball down the field but we hung in there.  Mid-way thru the fourth quarter of the game we found ourselves in a fight for the finish. We hadn't really had to experience that atmosphere up until tonight. The guys found themselves facing a very tough defense throughout the game tonight and we had a very rough fight on our hands from our first offensive possession forward. It was obvious from the start that they came here tonight fired-up and ready to play, and they proved that on the first drive of the game by taking the ball right down the field for the score. They came here tonight for the win and we had to fight extremely hard in the over-time to take the victory off the field. I'm proud of the guys for staying the course, remaining focused on the game plan and proud of them for not loosing their composure at any point in this hard-fought-battle tonight. We did the right things and made the plays when we had too, the guys kept the momentum until the very end of the game, up until the final play which secured the game. I'm proud of this group of guys, I'm thankful that we get to continue playing and I'm looking forward to the next game ahead of us.  We've got some work to do in practice but that's a part of the process of advancing at this point in the season.  Although this was not a pretty win, it is a win and we're proud to come away with it tonight. Our fan base and the home-crowd was spectacular in the game tonight as they've been all through-out the season and I know the players notice the support and are appreciative of the support that they are receiving. I'm hoping that we will have a large and loud crowd remaining with us as we continue our pursuit in the play-offs. It pays dividends to the players to have a large and supportive crowd behind them in the stands."
Last Updated on Sunday, 23 August 2015 20:15
 
 

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