The Wilson Rams had to play the toughest part of their Narrows League 3A schedule this season without a key weapon on offense.
Senior halfback Devon Phillips missed games against North Thurston, Timberline and Shelton with a pulled groin – all games the Rams ended up losing.
“That had an impact on our offense,” Wilson coach Don Clegg said.
Now that he’s back, Wilson is trying to make up lost ground.
The Rams kept their playoff hopes alive on Friday night at Mount Tahoma Stadium, as a fresh Phillips rushed for 186 yards and four touchdowns, helping Wilson defeat Foss, 39-14.
“It was the worst feeling in the world,” Phillips said of missing the three games. “I just wanted to be out there with my team.”
In his second week back since sitting out, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound senior piled up 20 carries against an undersized Foss defensive line.
The Falcons struggled out of the gate, losing a fumble on their first offensive play. Wilson capitalized, needing just four plays to go 25 yards as Phillips capped it off with a 10-yard touchdown run.
The senior was just getting warmed up. He added an 11-yard touchdown run on the Rams’ next possession, and scored his third touchdown of the half on a 10-yard run with 52 seconds left, pushing the lead to 26-6.
“I feel amazing,” Phillips said. “I’m still trying to catch up to where I planned to be (before the injury). I still have some ways to go, but I think I’ve done pretty well.”
Phillips rolled up 89 yards on 10 carries in the first half.
Wilson (4-3, 2-3) added another touchdown on a 25-yard pass from quarterback Moses Lewis to a wide-open Santana Johnson on a blown Foss coverage. Omar Morris’ 7-yard touchdown run accounted for the Falcons’ only points of the half, as the Wilson defense held Foss (1-5, 1-4) to just 73 yards of total offense.
Conner Patterson hauled in a 41-yard touchdown pass from Lewis in the third quarter to put the Rams up 33-6.
“We have to win (from here on out),” Clegg said. “We blew a game down at Shelton. We had an opportunity to be ahead in that ballgame and we just kind of self-destructed. So we have to win next week to have a chance. We end up with Stadium. That’s an arch-rival for us. We’ve got to play that game hard, too.”
Phillips likes his team’s chances down the stretch.
“The pressure is there, but we just have to overcome it ... just have the mindset that we’re going to overcome it,” he said. “We just have to stay focused, really. Just keep practicing hard and don’t underestimate our opponent.”