JV Phoenix End Season Against Exeter
The JV Phoenix took the field for their final game of the season this past Wednesday, playing host to Phillips Exeter Academy. It was a brisk fall afternoon and the young men were excited for the opportunity ahead. The first half saw the Phoenix struggle with discipline and playing together on offense, but the defense kept the Phoenix spirit high. A hard hit by Billy Martinez ’13 forced a fumble that was recovered by Warsame Mohamed ’14. On the next Exeter possession, the defense came up strong again, as Ben Burlock ’13 intercepted a pass in the end zone, dismantling the opponents’ hopes of scoring. The Phoenix went into half time down, but not out, trailing by 18.
The second half began with the Phoenix in possession. After a few halftime adjustments and a challenge from coach, the JV Phoenix put together their best drive of the season. Ben Burlock ’13 had two key receptions from Evander Lenardson ’14. Andrew Kraai ’14 had an outstanding reception on 4th and long to keep the drive alive. Then, after possessing the ball for over 6 minutes and facing 4th and goal, Lenardson ’14 found the end zone on a strong run. The defense continued their strong play in the 3rd quarter, and consecutive sacks by Jack Howarth ’14 forced a turnover on downs. Exeter scored again early in the 4th, by the Phoenix weren’t going to give up. On the ensuing kickoff Lenardson ’14 found space up the sideline and took it back for 6. The Phoenix continued their strong defensive play, but a speedy back from Exeter helped them find the end zone twice more before the final whistle. The final score ended at 32-12 in favor of Exeter.
Not enough can be said for the growth the JV Phoenix have made this year, both as individuals and as a team. The effort displayed on the practice field and in games tested these young men both physically and emotionally, making them stronger. The support and challenge they provided each other was admirable. As most of them return next year, the future of Phoenix football looks bright!
Phoenix Battle Lumberjacks Under the Lights
Phoenix football headed up to South Paris to take on The Lumberjacks of Hebron Academy this past Saturday evening. Playing under the lights and having the entire Hyde community in attendance, spirits were high even though temperatures were low.
Hebron started with the ball and after a five-minute drive punched it in for 6. Hyde responded with a their own drive, but lost possession on a fumble. The Phoenix defense came back with a strong stand led by Scott Bartlett ’12 and Chris Moulton ’12 forcing Hebron to punt. Hebron forced a 3 and out and after a high snap on the punt, the Lumberjacks found themselves in the Phoenix red zone. Again the defense stepped up, and held the Lumberjacks to a field goal. The Phoenix continued with their strong defensive play, led by Bartlett ’12 and Zach Tolman ’12 and with four minutes left to go in the 2nd quarter the Phoenix began driving. With less than a minute left in the half Jack Peters ’12 connected with Tyquan Ekejiuba ’13 for 6, bringing the score to 6-9 as the Phoenix entered the half.
After returning the kickoff to midfield to open the half, the Phoenix offense took possession and began driving. A strong run on 4th down by Peters ’12 kept the drive alive and shortly after Bemnet Banks ’12 ran for six, showing strength and determination. Hebron responded with a nice drive for 6 and then an interception returned for touchdown. As the 4th quarter began the Phoenix found themselves down 21-12 with Hebron driving again. The Phoenix needed a big play, and found it when Ekejiuba ’13 intercepted a Hebron pass around midfield. Offense wasted little time getting down to business and Peters found the end zone due to a courageous second effort. Again, Hebron responded, this time returning the kickoff for 6. The Hyde offense took the field and, once again, answered the challenge set forth by their opponent as Peters ’12 motored 70 yards for 6. A failed conversion left the Phoenix trailing by 1 with 4 minutes to go. The Lumberjacks faced a third and long when the Phoenix again needed a big play. This time it was Andrew Herron ’13 who beautifully read a screen pass and made an acrobatic interception, giving possession back to the Phoenix with about 2 minutes left on the clock. The Phoenix began driving, but lost the ball on a fumble with under a minute to go. The final whistle blew and the Lumberjacks secured victory 27-26.
It was a memorable evening for football in South Paris as both teams played a great game. Overall, the Phoenix continue to show commendable growth. This was their most complete game all season as they played a full four quarters and outscored their opponent in the 2nd half. An area that the Phoenix will address in practice this week is discipline, especially when it comes to committing penalties. The Phoenix close out the season in a clash for the President’s Cup against Woodstock next Saturday. The game is in Connecticut and kickoff is scheduled for 2pm.