Green Devils reclaim 6-4A title with blowout victory

Andrew Green
The PHS Green Devils claimed the 6-4A district title for the third year in a row under head coach Paul Distefano.

Head coach Paul Distefano completed his hat trick claiming the district 6-4A title for the third straight year after a dominant 53-18 victory over district rival Belaire.

            Running back Tyler Wesley opened up the game with a 13-yard rushing score after a quick three-play drive that included a 49-yard pass from quarterback Austin Mitchell to receiver Wayne Toussant.

            PHS took a swift 8-0 lead, but Belaire responded the following drive to close the gap 6-8 with just over five minutes of time remaining in the first quarter.

            The Green Devils responded with another three-play drive, which was capped off with a 33-yard rushing score from Toussant.  Green Devils took a 16-6 lead less than a minute later.

            Belaire was held to a punt on the following drive, which PHS carried over into the second quarter.  The following two-minute Green Devil drive ended with a 33-yard receiving touchdown from Mitchell to receiver Michael Sproles.

            Desperate not to let PHS pull away, Belaire fought hard with another scoring drive to close the lead 12-24, but the Green Devil offense was too much for the Bengal defense as PHS found the end zone once again.

            Austin Mitchell ran in a 28-yard score with five minutes left in the first half.  PHS took a 32-12 lead.

            Belaire drove the ball down to the PHS 10 yard line, but missed a crucial opportunity to put points on the board as time expired.

            The opening second-half drive resulted in a turnover on downs for Belaire.  Green Devils decided to once again strike hard and fast as they put together another two-minute scoring drive.  Mitchell punched in another score for PHS to extend their lead 38-12.

            Belaire’s following drive was turned over on downs at the beginning of the fourth quarter.  Mitchell responded on the following drive with a 38-yard pass to receiver Tyler Wesley with nine minutes remaining in the game.  PHS led 46-12.

            Belaire put together another scoring drive, but it was too little too late as the drive consumed six minutes of game time and gave the Bengals merely six points to close the gap 18-46.

            PHS would open the gap once more on the first play of their following drive.  Running back Jared Mosby ran in a 50-yard score to bring the game to a final 53-18 victory for the Green Devils.

            Head coach Paul Distefano was more than happy to once again claim the 6-4A district title after overcoming this year’s troubles.

            “It’s been a tough season,” Distefano said.  “We went through a lot of adversity with injuries, but I’m proud of the guys from starting quarterback all the way to the last guy on the bench.”

            Distefano credits his balanced offense that helped get the Green Devils to where they are today.

            “We had four running backs with over 600 yards,” Distefano said.  “This makes us a balanced team.  Wayne is without a doubt a very explosive player, but we have a lot of great other running backs in there.  It comes down to the guys up front.  The game is won in the trenches.

            “It’s been a team effort from week one, and it’s been the unselfishness of our kids that made us successful this year.”

            Quarterback Austin Mitchell overcame an injury the week before, and came out fighting in the Belaire game, hungry for a win.

            When asked what it felt like to be district champ for third year straight, Mitchell said, “It feels good.  I feel like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, three times in a row.

            “I haven’t felt this great since week one.  I’ve been injured the whole year playing on a bad ankle, but shook back and played with my all and won the district championship.”

            Mitchell and the team will prepared immediately for their upcoming task at hand.

            “We’re going to practice even harder, and not let the team get a big head about winning the championship.”

            Tyler Wesley led the Green Devils in rushing yard with 62 on the ground and a score.  Jared Mosby followed with 55 and a score, Kevin Domingue totaled 44 and Wayne Toussant totaled 38 and a score.

            Mitchell led in rushing scores with two, and 38 yards on the ground.

            Mitchell found success through the air as well as he totaled 153 yards and two scores passing.  Toussant totaled 49 of those yards, and receiver Michael Sproles totaled 46 and a score.

            Welsey racked up 38 and a score through the air.

            The Green Devils received the 12 seed in the 4A playoff bracket and will host Carver Collegiate Academy on Friday, Nov. 13.