Wash­ing­ton works won­ders for Phan­toms vs. MLK

The Phoenix - - SPORTS - By Barry Sankey

PHOENIXVILLE » The rainy con­di­tions Fri­day night played right into Phoenixville’s game plan.

Phoenixville con­trolled the line of scrim­mage and the ball all night, set­ting up Alex Wash­ing­ton to have a ban­ner night, as the Phan­toms de­feated Martin Luther King, 22-8, in a non-league game at Wash­ing­ton Field on Op­er­a­tion Amer­i­can Pride Night.

New Phan­tom head coach Don Grin­stead earned his first vic­tory as Phoenixville coach. The game was orig­i­nally sched­uled for Thurs­day night but was post­poned due to the heat that led to early dis­missal of Philadel­phia schools.

Wash­ing­ton rushed 40 times for 188 yards and scored on touch­down runs of 4 yards to open the scor­ing and 14 yards to close out the scor­ing.

Whether it be left, right or up the mid­dle, all the plays clicked for the Phan­toms as the block­ers cre­ated the holes, and Wash­ing­ton did the rest. The Phan­toms were able to pick up 17 first downs, kept the first down mark­ers mov­ing and the clock run­ning.

“That is what we want to do,” said Grin­stead. “That is the way we want to play. We want to be a ball-con­trol team with three or four yards a carry. Our guys up front did a great job. I am re­ally proud of them.”

Grin­stead said the rainy con­di­tions were per­fect for Phoenixville, which likes to run the football. The Cougars, on the other hand, want to throw the football and were lim­ited in that re­gard.

“We saw some things on film that we were able to take ad­van­tage of,” said Grin­stead. “Our of­fen­sive line was the key to that, and Alex was able to keep his feet mov­ing.”

Wash­ing­ton ap­plauded his block­ers’ per­for­mance.

“It feels re­ally good to get the first win,” said Wash­ing­ton. “The guys up front were giv­ing me five yards a carry. That was all I could ask for.

“Our line worked up. We were in bet­ter con­di­tion and we kept our com­po­sure. Our cap­tains kept things to­gether. We were able to run all day and stopped them from pass­ing.”

The Phan­toms hope to build on this vic­tory to gen­er­ate more suc­cess the rest of the sea­son.

Travis Pan­nella had a 11yard scor­ing run for the Phan­toms as well as a 2-point con­ver­sion af­ter the fi­nal TD. Quar­ter­back Con­nor Pata­nia di­rected the of­fense. Sean Clark booted a pair of ex­tra points.

Martin Luther King ac­tu­ally took a brief lead on Amir Man­ners’ 55-yard kick­off re­turn, and quar­ter­back DaQuan Robin­son’s 2-point con­ver­sion.

The Phan­toms also showed the abil­ity to cover the deep balls thrown by Robin­son, de­spite the heavy rain.


Phoenixville’s Alex Wash­ing­ton rushes against Ken­nett.

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