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Phoebus | High School Football Preview

COACH: Jeremy Blunt (first full season, 8-1 after taking over in Week 5 of 2012)
2012: 12-1, 9-0 Peninsula District (lost to Lake Taylor in Eastern Region final).
Last time not in playoffs: 2000
Group: 4A South
Conference: 18

THE SCHEDULE
Aug. 24 | DeMatha, 5 (Virginia Beach SportsPlex)
Aug. 29 | Gloucester, 7 (W, 55-3)
Sept. 14 | at Warwick, 1 (W, 59-7)
Sept. 19 | at Denbigh, 6 (W, 43-6)
Sept. 27 | at Hampton, 7 (W, 21-19; W, 35-21)
Oct. 5 | Menchville, 2 (W, 44-3)
Oct. 11 | Bethel, 7 (W, 19-17)
Oct. 18 | Woodside, 7 (W, 40-7)
Oct. 26 | at Heritage, 1 (W, 35-7)
Nov. 1 | at Kecoughtan, 7 (W, 55-7)

THE STANDOUTS
Marshawn Williams
Sr. | 6-0 | 220 | RB/LB
A bruising runner, Williams rushed for 1,809 on 259 carries (7.0 ypc) in two seasons at Hampton before changing addresses. He'll fit in immediately in the Phantoms' power running game.

Harry Lewis
Jr. | 6-1 | 250 | OL/DL
Was a key member of a defense that gave up only 87 points in nine Peninsula District games. Has become pretty hot property with six Division I offers, including Virginia and Virginia Tech, according to Rivals.com.

Terrell Toliver
So. | 6-2 | 190 | QB/P
He started from Day One as a freshman and had a solid season by completing 34-of-68 passes for 687 yards, 12 TDs and only one INT. He also ran for five scores.

THE STORYLINES
Bouncing back. For the first time since 2007, the Phantoms didn't win a state championship. Not only that, they ended the season with a humbling 54-0 loss to Lake Taylor in the Eastern Region final. That no doubt left a sour taste, along with some added motivation, during the offseason.

Welcome to Ireland Street. The loss of Tony Pittman and backup Daquan Lane seemed to leave Phoebus in something of a bind at tailback, but the arrival of Williams has been a huge boost. Blunt also likes Breon Baskerville, who he says is pushing Williams for the No. 1 spot. Phoebus is, after all, Tailback High.

Another solid front. If you've heard it once, you've heard it a thousand times: the game is won in the trenches. Phoebus should be strong as usual there. Walt Brantley (6-2/300), Jamal Earls (6-3/270), Kevin Lyles (5-10/225) and Lewis are among the returning grunts.

BEST COACH
To say Phoebus football was nothing before Bill Dee's arrival wouldn't be hyperbole. In its first nine season, the program had gone 23-64-2. The Phantoms finished 1-9 in Dee's first season but made it to the playoffs his second. In Dee's 24-year run, Phoebus went 215-64 (.770) and won four of its seven state championships.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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