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PREVIEW: Hampton vs. Phoebus (VA)

September 25, 2013

HAMPTON, VA – The Phoebus Phantoms haven’t had much trouble with the Hampton Crabbers lately. But we’ll find out if that changes when the two teams square off on Friday at 7 p.m. (EST) at Darling Stadium. Over 7,500 fans are expected to witness a game that’s part of the 2013 Great American Rivalry Series presented by the U.S. Marine Corps and Hibbett Sports.

Phoebus has won eight of the last 11 matchups but still trails in the all-time series 30-15. Phoebus won two in the series last season, 35-21 in the regular season and 21-19 in the second round of the state playoffs.

The Phantoms, coached by Jeremy Blunt, won their first 12 games last season before losing in the state quarterfinals – first time since 2007 they didn’t win a state title. Sophomore quarterback Terrell Toliver, who has started since Day 1, senior back Marshawn Williams (1,809 yards in two seasons at Hampton) and junior lineman Harry Lewis (Virginia, Virginia Tech) are the standouts.

After losing its opener, Phoebus has won three straight, capped off by a 49-21 win over Denbigh in its last game. Williams ran for 239 yards and three TDs, one game after setting a district record with eight TDs and 308 yards.

The Crabbers, who went 9-3 last season, are coached by Mike Smith, who is in his 47th year. The program has won 14 state titles and has a crazy all-time record of 437-72-2. Sophomore quarterback Jovonn Quillen Jr., sophomore back Demetrius Strickland and senior receiver Umar Muhammad-Wyatt lead the way.

Hampton had lost back-to-back games for just the fifth time under Smith, but bounced back with a 28-21 win over Kecoughtan. Quillen Jr. accounted for two scores in the win.

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What is the Great American Rivalry Series?

Each fall for over a century, high school football has been the centerpiece for families and communities on Friday night. In 2004, iHigh, Inc. created the Great American Rivalry Series to celebrate this uniquely American sport and the cultural phenomenon of “Friday Night in America.” The Series shines the spotlight on top high school football rivalries across the nation, where long-standing traditions are valued, expectations are sky high, and followers are committed.