At the start of the second half, Burr and Burton Academy had plenty of time to erase a 14-0 deficit against Rice Memorial.
By the end of the second half, it turned out BBA didn’t have anywhere near enough.
The Green Knights used an 18-play drive to squeeze more than 10 minutes out of the third quarter and limited the Bulldogs to less than four minutes of possession after halftime to secure a 28-0 victory in Division II high school football at Bill Landers Field on Saturday.
“That was our best drive of the year,” Rice coach Neil Brodeur said. “When you can take (10-plus) minutes off a 12-minute quarter with one drive and score — boy, that’s fantastic. It made it a three-quarter game.”
Tailback Anthony Phillip dashed for 177 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 32 carries, while quarterback Chris Jansen picked up 113 yards on 16 carries and threw for two scores as the Green Knights (5-2) picked up their third straight win.
Burr and Burton (3-4) didn’t touch the ball again until less than two minutes remained in the third quarter after the hosts churned out that clock-killing 77-yard drive to start the frame.
Jansen, who finished 7-of-14 for 64 yards, hit Michael Morrissey in stride on a quick slant that Morrissey stretched for 14 yards and six points with a dive at the goal line. A two-point conversion vaulted Rice to a 22-0 lead.
Down three scores by that point, BBA only sustained one of its last four series for more than a minute and had no answer for Rice’s ground game.
“They just completely dominated the line of scrimmage against us,” BBA coach Jason Thomas said. “We couldn’t do anything up front.”
After the Bulldogs punted when their opening drive stalled despite a first down and positive yardage on four plays, Phillip staked the Green Knights a lead on their first play.
The shifty junior back burst up the middle, cut left and raced up the sideline for a 60-yard touchdown. He scored again two possessions later on a 5-yard run to cap a 12-play drive that lasted 4:39. A hand clasping the jersey of his lead-blocker, tight end Matt Maynard, he charged to paydirt.
“My objective is just to clear the hole out for them so they can have the great games like they did today,” said Maynard, a senior, who finished with four catches for 33 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown.
Two of Maynard’s grabs were one-handed snares that kept drives alive, while another was a diving effort near the sideline on the third-quarter drive.
BBA freshman quarterback Griffin Stalcup finished 15-of-27 passing for 140 yards and an interception, while running back Eric Cerra had 57 yards on nine carries.
“This week presented a lot of different challenges for us because Burr and Burton is so unique in that aspect where they could throw the ball 90 percent of the time and we haven’t defended the pass particularly well in recent weeks,” Brodeur said.
Rice, which entered the week No. 2 in the D-II rankings, has a bye before facing Milton in the final week of the regular season, a matchup rich in playoff intrigue.
“We’re starting to click, we’re starting to get all of our players back,” Maynard said. “We had some kids banged up but things are starting to come back together.”