Dr. Phillips defeats Olympia, 31-18
Dr. Phillips Football overcame the weather and costly penalties with a balanced offensive attack in a 31-18 defeat of host Olympia. DP (2-0) remained the #1 ranked football team in Central Florida, and increased its series lead over their top rivals to 12-2 with their tenth consecutive win in the last eight years. Quarterback Alton Meeks completed 12 of 17 passes for 139 yards and ran for a team-high 79 yards before leaving the game with just over two minutes left in the third quarter with an ankle injury. Junior Deionte Gaines finished with 132 all-purpose yards, a career-high eight receptions and a touchdown.
On the Panthers’ second drive of the game, Eric Harrell took a third down handoff 19 yards down to the Olympia 34 before Meeks connected with junior Roderick Proctor for a 26-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead. The Titans (1-1) tied the game at the start of the second quarter but DP engineered a clock-shredding, 14-play, 80-yard scoring drive that covered over five and a half minutes. Meeks’ nine-yard keeper on third and short gave the Panthers a first down at midfield and Harrell followed suit with another critical third down run as well but the drive appeared to stall at the 37. On fourth and seven, however, Deionte Gainestook a direct snap on a fake punt and slipped through the line for a 25-yard gain down to the 12. Two plays later, Harrell punched it in from five yards out to give DP a 14-7 lead with 6:21 left in the half.
After a 29-yard Olympia field goal shaved the lead to 14-10, DP responded with a 65-yard scoring drive spanning just 58 seconds. Jahquan Mike’s 15-yard reception set up the Panthers at midfield. Gaines hauled in a 14-yard pass from Meeks down to the 31 and two plays later, Meeks found Gaines again at the Olympia 15 and the speedy junior took it to the house, dragging two defenders the final seven yards into the endzone for a 21-10 lead with only 44 seconds remaining in the half. On the ensuing kickoff return Olympia’s Alex Gomez darted through the coverage and streaked down the DP sideline towards the endzone but senior Jean Wesley Guerilus chased him down from across the field for a touchdown-saving tackle at the DP 27. With Olympia facing second and 13, senior defensive tackle Tadailon Colvin blasted through the line and sacked Titan quarterback Deondre Francoisfor a seven-yard loss. On fourth and 20 from the 37, Olympia had a receiver wide open in the left corner of the endzone but senior safety Matt Milano cut across and batted the pass onto the track to kill the drive as DP went into the break with a 21-10 lead.
Rain began to fall in the third quarter,slowing both teams down. DP started its opening drive at their own 43. Meeks ran for gains of 9, 7 and 14 yards but the drive ended on downs at the Titan five. On their second possession of the half consecutive first down runs by Meeks for six and 12 yards put them in scoring range at the Titan 30 with just over two minutes left in the quarter. On first and five, however, Meeks rolled to his right, was swallowed up by two defenders and rolled his ankle forcing him to leave the game. Senior quarterback Stephen Maloney trotted onto the field confidently and kept the drive going with a 27-yard completion to Eric Harrell on fourth down that set up a 24-yard field goal by Ricky Buckner for a 24-10 lead.
Olympia answered with an impressive scoring drive to cut the lead to 24-16 at the start of the fourth quarter but DP counterpunched on their next possession. A 23-yard kickoff return by Gaines set DP up at the 35 and a pair of completions from Maloney to Jahquan Mike pushed DP into Olympia territory. On first and ten from the Titan 37, junior Marvin Marshall slid through the offensive line and outraced the Olympia secondary for a backbreaking 37-yard touchdown run that gave DP a 31-16 lead. The Titans put together a strong drive down to the DP nine yard line in just five plays. A big hit at the line of scrimmage by Tadailon Colvin kept the TItans out of the endzone. Then a five-yard penalty and a bad snap for a nine-yard loss, gave Olympia second and goal from the DP 17. A furious pass rush forced Francois out of the pocket to his right and he looked toward the endzone but senior cornerback Reggie Glover was right there for his first interception of the season to put the final nail in the 31-18 victory.
Dr. Phillips finished with 384 total yards (190 passing, 194 rushing) and 19 first downs but the difference in the game was turnovers. The Panther defense picked off two fourth quarter passes (Reggie Glover and Antonio Wyatt) and recovered a first quarter fumble (Auggie Amone). The DP offense committed penalties, but no turnovers.