Garrett Boures lives for moments like the fourth quarter of Phillipsburg’s 20-6 football win over host Franklin Friday night in the Mid-State 38 Delaware Division opener for both teams.
So do his Stateliner teammates.
Phillipsburg took over the ball on downs at its 21 with 9 minutes and 20 seconds to play, nursing that 14-point lead against a dangerous Warrior team that had shown capability to score from anywhere on the field.
But you need the ball to score -- and Franklin never saw the ball again.
Boures’ hard-charging carries and his beef up front ground the Warriors into the turf on an 18-play display of pure Stateliner football. Nothing pretty, just punishing.
“Power, power, power,” said P’burg quarterback Jack Stagaard of the final drive. “I knew I’d just keep giving the ball to Garrett and our line would keep pushing them back.”
And so they did.
At one point Boures, a senior running back, took eight straight handoffs and ran for 47 yards. On one play, he carried half the Franklin defense at least five yards to will his way to a first down. On others, the line of tackles Jaleel Boothman and Blaise Santini, guards Zach Leong and Nick Josselyn, center Robert Melise, and tight ends Zach Troxell and Sean Morro blasted the Warriors into full reverse as Boures poured forward.
“I know Garrett will always get positive yards,” Stateliner coach Frank Duffy said. “We wanted to chew up clock. It was situational football.”
And extremely effective football.
“That’s what we do,” said Boures, who finished with 126 yards on 23 carries, including the Stateliners’ only offensive touchdown with a 4-yard second-quarter run. “We killed the clock, and we were trying to score another touchdown there at the end. We wanted to pound them on offense all day.”
Given that Boures’ backfield mate, senior Ja’Quan Jones, added 119 yards on 21 carries, consider the pounding accomplished. Jones’ darting, slashing runs and Boures’ bull-forward bursts compliment each other perfectly, and since neither goes down on first or second contact there’s always the possibility of ripping off big chunks of yardage if defenses don’t tackle properly. When Franklin didn’t, Boures and Jones made them pay.
It was a fourth quarter Phillipsburg fans could take to heart – and one that may well be seen again this season when the Stateliners turn to power to close a game out.
Brad Wilson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @bradwsports. Find Lehigh Valley high school sports on Facebook.