Syracuse Titans dominate the Farmington Phoenix in winning Region 1 football title 40-20

Syracuse Titans dominate the Farmington Phoenix in winning Region 1 football title 40-20

Titans’ defense sets the early tone for winning Region 1 title

The opening series set the tone for the entire game between the Titans and Phoenix in deciding if the Phoenix would earn a share of the title. Starting from their own 20-yard line after the kickoff, the Phoenix’s two bubble screenplays went for no gain and the quarterback was sacked. The Phoenix had to punt on their first series and never could gain any momentum from that point. The Titans started their first drive on the Phoenix side of the field and marched down to the 1-yard line. Many offsides penalties on the Phoenix kept this drive going. Kobe Bennett started the scoring for the Titans with a 1-yard touchdown run.

Syracuse stays in control of the first half

The Titans defense controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball in the first half. Strong running by the running backs and great timing on passes kept the normally aggressive Phoenix defense on its heels. The Titan’s defense stepped up with 3:34 left in the first quarter with an interception by linebacker Levi Stowe to end a Phoenix drive. The first play of the second quarter saw an option pass for a touchdown by Jake Metcalfe to DJ Mayes. The touchdown was set up by a pass interference call and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. A potential fumble by the Titans overturned and ruled forward progress had stopped during this possession. This made the score 14-0 after the touchdown.

The Titan’s defensive game plan was not to let the Phoenix have any big plays. The Phoenix had to be patient and drive the ball down the field with short passes and running the ball. The Titan’s front seven dominated the game and did not let the Phoenix’s running game get going. With 1:34 before the half, Titans safety Brevin Hamblin stepped in front of Phoenix quarterback Easton Wight’s pass and scored from 52 yards out. This gave Hamblin 6 interceptions on the year. This score put the Titans up 21-0 and all the momentum. With the minute closing before halftime Wight led the Phoenix down the field and ended with a great pass on a slant to wide receiver Adam Stucki for a 20-yard touchdown. The score going into the half was 21-7 Titans.

Second half Titans continue to pressure the Phoenix into mistakes

The Titans opened the second half with the ball and drove down the field ending with a Hamblin 4-yard touchdown run, and kicker Rhett Thompson added the extra point to make the score 28-7. The physicality of the Titans was on full display by lineman Sam Pula. Pula recorded a safety for the Titans to make the score 30-7. Pula added an interception in the third quarter. A key piece in stopping the Phoenix running game was Pula.

Thompson added a 21-yard field goal with 10:35 left in the game to extend the lead to 33-7 for the Titans. The Phoenix Dayton Runyan took the next kickoff 80 yards and deep into Titan’s territory. Wight began to find his receivers with touchdown passes to Stucki and a spectacular catch by Mitch Nielsen. The pass to Stucki, his second touchdown of the game covered 10 yards and Nielsen’s was 20 yards. With 1:00 left in the game, Hopkins found Dylan Croxford for a final touchdown to make the final score 40-20 and secure the region title for the Titans.

Outstanding performances

The Titan’s defense led by Pula was key in the victory. Physical tackling and not allowing the Phoenix to complete big plays were key in the win. Hopkins was in control of the game with pinpoint passing to receivers Mayes and Croxford. Jake Metcalfe and Hamblin made contributions in the running game.

The Phoenix receiver Nielsen had 8 catches for 98 yards and a touchdown. Luke Hansen’s 13 tackles and a sack led the Phoenix defense. Adam Stucki had two touchdown catches, and the defensive line made stops to stall the Titans’ drives.

photo courtesy James Tate of Titans defense

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