Despite its share of talented passers over the years — Ronald Curry, Michael Vick, Tajh Boyd — the Peninsula District always has been about the running game. If you can't run, you can't win. It's that simple.
This season has seen that philosophy to the extreme. Only three teams — Denbigh, Warwick and Menchville — are on pace to pass for 1,000 yards in the regular season. And it won't be by much. The Patriots are averaging 109 yards a game in the air, the Raiders 103, and the Monarchs 99.9 (we'll round up with them).
Last year, four PD teams averaged 122 passing yards or better per game. That includes Bethel, which threw for 2,272 yards in 11 games.
In 2012, PD teams are running on 75 percent of their plays from scrimmage. Not surprisingly, Phoebus is the most one-sided in its play calling at 89 percent run, 11 percent pass. Denbigh is the most balanced at 60 percent run, 40 percent pass.
Interestingly, the Phantoms have been the most efficient when they do throw. Quarterbacks Terrell Toliver and Will Mann are a combined 21-of-37 (56.8 percent) for 419 yards (20 per completion). They have eight touchdown passes with no interceptions.
"We're Phoebus, so we're going to do certain things and people are going to stack the box on us," interim head coach Jeremy Blunt said. "We smile at that because we're used to that. The passing game is certainly getting better. When we need it, we have the confidence that we can get it."
Only three other teams have completed at least half of their passes: Bethel (50 percent), Hampton (50.7 percent) and Woodside (51.3 percent).
The most dangerous passing team of late has been the Wolverines, who have found maybe the district's best combination in quarterback Darius Howell (33-of-56, 530 yards the last four weeks) and wideout Trey Reed (18 catches, 333 yards, TD in the same span).
Which could make for an interesting matchup Friday night at Todd Stadium when Phoebus (7-0, 6-0 PD) visits Woodside (4-3, 4-2). The Phantoms are last in the district with 103.9 yards allowed per game in the air. Opposing quarterbacks are completing 53 percent of their passes.
Walker nabs offer
Ricky Walker, Bethel's two-way junior lineman, has picked up his fourth offer from a Football Bowl Subdivision school.
Richard Walker, Ricky's father, said Penn State running backs coach Charles London made the offer in a conversation with Bethel coach Bubba Hooker. Walker also has offers from Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Old Dominion.
Ricky Walker is the younger brother of Bethel grad Rijo Walker, currently a junior safety at the University of Virginia.
Hooker said defensive back Nick Clark has offers from Morgan State and Coastal Carolina.
Shorts and stuff
With Kecoughtan's Trenton Cannon and Heritage's Khalid Abdullah already there, next in line to break the 1,000-yard mark in rushing should be Phoebus' Tony Pittman, who has 963 yards in five games. …
Gloucester's James Scott is leading the district in rushing attempts with 150, or 21.4 per game. That was significantly boosted by his 38 carries last week vs. Woodside. …
Phoebus backup tailback Da'Quan Lane is averaging a touchdown per every eight rushing attempts.Copyright © 2015, CT Now