Curtis Argroves threw for 212 yards and three touchdowns – all in the first half – to lead Dr. Phillips to a 49-0 win over upstart Celebration on Friday night.
The Storm, who outscored its two previous opponents 103-30 in going 2-0, came into the game with high hopes of staying with the Panthers – a perennial state power.
Those hopes quickly faded, however, when Storm quarterback Dylan Davis could not handle the first offensive snap of the game and defensive end Demarqua Hemmings picked up the ensuing fumble and raced 27 yards for a touchdown and 6-0 Dr. Phillips’ lead just nine seconds into the contest.
A 14-play Celebration drive would follow, as the Storm moved the ball down to the Dr. Phillips 19. But three plays netted -3 yards and Phillip Rowe missed a 39-yard field goal. It would be the closest Celebration would get to scoring all game.
From there, Algroves was simply on fire.
He would hit Joanes Fortilien on a 75-yard scoring pass on the very next possession to make it a 13-0 game. Algroves would need just four plays to take the Panthers 85 yards the next time he touched the ball, completing passes of 38 yards to Fortilien and a 35-yard scoring pass to Dallas Davis as the first quarter ended with the Storm in a 20-0 hole.
The second quarter was more of the same.
After Celebration turned the ball over at midfield on downs, back-up quarterback Jair Murphy threw a 24-yard scoring strike to Fortilien to make it 28-0. Argroves would re-enter the game on the Panthers’ next series and would cap a three-play drive with a 24-yard touchdown pass to Fortilien, who would finish the half with four receptions for 171 yards and three scores.
While Algroves and the rest of the Panthers’ offense was rolling, the Dr. Phillips defense was doing a good job bottling up Celebration star running back Oneil Senatus. A junior running back, Senatus came into the contest averaging 285 yards rushing per game with 10 touchdowns. He would be limited to just 54 yards rushing on 13 carries in the game. Dr. Phillips also used short kickoffs to keep the ball out of his hands in the return game.
“Oneil ran hard tonight, picking up some tough yards when there were no holes,” Head Coach Rich Pringle said of Senatus. “He hurt his knee early in the second quarter and tried to play on it but simply could not make his cuts. We sat him down at halftime.”
With the 35-0 Dr. Phillips lead, the game went to a running clock for the entire second half. Despite only getting two second-half possessions, the Panthers added two more scores for the 49-0 final.
“We knew we were facing a tough challenge tonight against a really good team and it didn’t help that we lost our left offensive tackle and Senatus in the game,” Pringle said. “But I also think we played hard tonight and did some good things. We had a couple of good drives but as the scores started to pile up on us, it became difficult to maintain any offensive momentum.”
Still Pringle remained optimistic as the Storm gets ready for Mulberry next Friday. “I told our kids this was just one game. We will get back to work on Monday, try to clean up our mistakes, and get ready for the next one.”
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Dr. Phillips 20 15 14 0 –49
Celebration 0 0 0 0 –0
DP Demarqua Hemmings 27 Fumble Return (Kick Failed)
DP Joanes Fortilien 75 pass from Curtis Argroves (Nick Lopez kick)
DP Dallas Davis 35 pass from Argroves (Lopez kick)
DP Fortilien 24 pass from Jair Murphy (Fortielien pass from Murphy)
DP Fortilien 52 pass from Argroves (Lopez kick)
DP Jalen Janvier 7 pass from Murphy (Lopez kick)
DP Adam Guzman 6 run (Lopez kick)