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Phoebus defends region title, Bruins capture first region title since 2002

Pittsburgh commit Jordan Bass and UNC commit Paul Billups Jr. put on stellar performances to help the Phantoms and the Bruins win region titles.

Three weeks after their notable 56-0 shutout over Oscar Smith, the Phoebus Phantoms have continued to prove why they are a force to be reckoned with. With an unbeaten record this season, they've remained humble and focused on their quest to a state title. They got one step closer to that feat on Saturday afternoon in a 42-16 victory over Lake Taylor at Darling Stadium in Hampton. 

It was a slower start than normal for the Phantoms. The Titans put up points first in the second quarter off a fumble recovered by Trevor Hesson in the end zone which gave them their first and only lead of the game. That was all it took to get the Phantoms fired up. 

With five minutes left in the second, Nolan James connected with Pittsburgh commit Jordan Pass for 70 yards, and with a good PAT, Phoebus took a 7-6 lead. Then on the Titans possession, they wound up fumbling the football which was recovered by the Phantoms, who picked it up from their own 50. They capitalized on Lake Taylor's mishap before the half when James found Ty'Reon Taylor 46 yards downfield as the Phantoms took the 14-6 lead at the break.

In the third, The Phantoms went off as Bass caught his second touchdown of the day to extend their lead 21-6. Bass would contribute yet again for his third touchdown on the day when he broke through the middle and ran for 84 yards to put Phoebus up 28-6. 

With Lake Taylor down 35-8 in the fourth quarter, Jamir Freeman threw a 34-yard pass to Jeremy Gainey for the Titans’ only offensive touchdown as they fell for a final of 42-16, finishing 11-2.

The Phantoms defended the region title and are ranked No. 1 in the 757Teamz Top 15. They will play Region B champion Brentsville District (12-1) at 2 p.m. at Darling Stadium in a semifinal.

In the Class 6 Region A championship, Western Branch made themselves very at home traveling to take on Manchester. 

They got started early when UNC commit Paul Billups Jr. went up the left side for 18 yards to give them the 7-0 lead. He would strike again in the same quarter when Taquan Trotman found him from 22 yards to give them the 14-0 advantage. 

The Lancers got within 7 in the second quarter but the Bruins responded as Shimique Blizzard broke down the side for 29 yards and a score as they led 21-14 at the half. 

Late in the fourth, the Bruins sealed it with Steven Trotman's interception in the end zone as Western Branch held off Manchester 21-14 for their first region title since 2002. 

The Bruins will travel to face Freedom High School next week, a team who holds the VHSL record for most points in a season with 835.

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