Phoebus 55, South Lakes 0

-- South Lakes High's remarkable turnaround season and surprising run to the Virginia AAA Division 5 state semifinals came to a quick and crushing end today at the hands of defending state champion Phoebus.

The Phantoms scored on six of their first seven possessions and blew out the Seahawks, 55-0, in front of approximately 1,500 at Darling Memorial Stadium. Phoebus (13-0) won for the 25th consecutive time to earn a return trip to next week's state championship in Richmond, where it will face the winner of Sunday's Stafford-Hopewell semifinal.

"They just played hard ball and we played a little soft, so what do you expect?" South Lakes senior quarterback Daniel Cidone asked. "Every single one of them was amazing."

Under first-year coach Joe Trabucco, South Lakes (9-4) rebounded from a 2001 season in which it won one game. But the Seahawks could not handle Phoebus on either side of the ball.

The Phantoms compiled 460 offensive yards, including 401 on the ground. Phoebus had 12 rushes of 10 yards or more, including five that covered more than 20 yards.

Sophomore tailback Elan Lewis gained a game-high 220 yards on 18 carries with two touchdowns. Senior DeMarcus Holden picked up 66 yards on five carries and senior quarterback D.J. Parker added 53 yards and a touchdown on four carries.

Parker also completed three passes, all for touchdowns, on five attempts. He connected with senior Phillip Brown on a slant and a fade for scores of 33 and 16 yards, respectively, and found sophomore tight end Quincy McCright over the middle for a 10-yard touchdown.

"Offensively, we were just hitting on all cylinders," said Phoebus Coach Bill Dee, whose team had an extra week off after winning the Eastern Region title.

South Lakes, meanwhile, fumbled six times, losing three, threw three interceptions, one of which was returned 43 yards by Holden for a touchdown, and had a punt blocked.

"We made some mistakes, but certainly they had a lot to do with that," Trabucco said. "That's a great high school football team."

The Phantoms fumbled the ball away on their opening possession and then gave South Lakes an extra set of downs with a roughing-the-kicker penalty, one of 10 Phoebus infractions in the game (90 yards). But moments later Phoebus senior Genason Jenkins intercepted a pass at midfield and returned it to the Seahawks 32-yard line.

Six plays later, Parker connected with Brown for the first of his touchdowns. The Phantoms outgained the Seahawks 262-91 in total yards in the first half and led 28-0 at intermission.

Fifty-one of the Seahawks' first-half yards came on their final possession of the half. South Lakes drove from its 37 to the Phoebus 10, but ran out of time. On the final play of the first half, Jenkins broke up a slant pass to Garret Gray with a strong hit at the 1-yard line.

Following the game, the South Lakes players filed off the field to upbeat applause from their contingent of fans. Despite the loss, many smiled about an eight-game improvement and the second region title in school history.