They'd known each other for years, of that much it was agreed. But for exactly how long, and how they first met, those details were a little foggy.

Until one day last summer when Shawne Alston told Dominik Davenport how they first became teammates way back in rec league. Davenport said no way. Alston was sure of it.

There was one way to settle it: Davenport had the championship game from when he was maybe 6 years old on video. So off they went to his house and fired up the VCR.

"He put the tape in," Alston said. "First play of the game, me breaking off the right side. He's lead blocking as the fullback."

The Doris Miller Raiders were the undefeated champions that year, and if that sounds familiar, it should. Nineteen days ago, with Alston bursting through holes and Davenport owning the line of scrimmage, the Phoebus Phantoms capped off an undefeated season by winning the state championship.

It was a fitting way for their high school careers to end. And for the icing, they were named the Daily Press Players of the Year — Alston on offense, Davenport for the second year in a row on defense.

Alston wasn't the Offensive POY in the Peninsula District (Hampton's Tron Martinez was), but his performance in the playoffs made our pick a no-brainer. In that five-game sweep, Alston rushed for 971 yards and 10 touchdowns — a heck of a season for most backs.

For his senior year, he finished with 2,278 yards. The only Peninsula District back who ran for more yards in a season was Phoebus' Elan Lewis, who did it twice.

"I don't think there was a better running back in the state this year," Phoebus coach Bill Dee said. "Different types, but not better. He would have gained 2,000 in the regular season if we had fed him the ball for four quarters."

During the regular season, as Phoebus blew out opponents with running clocks, Alston was seldom on the field in the fourth quarter. That hurt his numbers, but it also left him energized for the playoffs.

"He was as good as advertised," Dinwiddie coach Billy Mills said after Alston's 237-yard afternoon in the state championship game.

Phoebus coaches didn't keep defensive stats this season, but it's safe to say the majority of tackles either included Davenport or were created by his presence. His official position was "lineman," but there was no telling where he'd line up. Right side, left side, over the center, linebacker …

And he rarely took a snap off. He was the best offensive lineman in the district, too. He scored 10 touchdowns as the short-yardage fullback. He even took two snaps at quarterback when starter Tajh Boyd's knee was too sore to take the final kneel-down against Lake Taylor and Dinwiddie.

Davenport played every position on the offensive line, including tight end, during his career. He never got around to wide receiver, though.

"We had to stop somewhere," Dee said.

But that willingness to be versatile is one thing that made "Baby D" special.

"A lot of young players today think that they need to specialize in one thing, like in the NFL," Heritage coach Jason Robinson said. "However, high school football is about doing whatever it takes to help your team win. Not only is he one of the nation's best defensive linemen, but he also is a true team player."

In Davenport's four years on the varsity, the Phantoms went 52-3 and won two state championships. He started both ways in 2006, when he won his first ring. Last year, he was named all-state along with Daily Press defensive POY.

Alston spent his freshman and sophomore years at Menchville, where his two teams went a combined 2-18. He transferred to Phoebus the summer before his junior year, and though Dee knew little about him, Davenport did.