His team needed one more stop.
With Westside hoping to hold off Harlem again, Phillips noticed a Bulldogs reception wasn’t handled safely. He knew he had the chance to seal the win.
Phillips’ second forced and recovered fumble of the game, this time in the final minute, preserved the Patriots’ 20-18 win against Harlem. Phillips’ busy night included 55 receiving yards, a blocked extra point that would have tied the score and an interception on a two-point conversion that kept his team in front.
All those plays made him The Augusta Chronicle Player of the Week.
“I thought he was probably going to drop it, so there was a chance for me to intercept it,” Phillips said about the second forced and recovered fumble play. “But I saw he was bobbling a little bit, so I just pulled him to me and grabbed it and ran with it.”
Earlier in the fourth quarter, Phillips came from the outside to block an extra point, using his long arms — he estimated his wingspan to be 6-foot-8 — to get to the kick.
Phillips’ late heroics made sure Westside didn’t fall to 0-2 against fellow Region 3-AA competition.
“It’s just about playing hard, really. I really wanted to win,” Phillips said. “We needed a region win to stay alive.”