Raby quarterback Tyshun Turnipseed started turning heads with his performance last week against Vocational. The junior accounted for eight total touchdowns in the Raiders’ win.
On Saturday at Lane he ran into Phillips, undoubtedly the best defense in the Public League.
“We’ve altered what we do defensively in the last few weeks,” Phillips coach Troy McAllister said. “Now it’s more of a bend and don’t break.”
That’s exactly what the Wildcats did to Raby and Turnipseed as they coasted to a 53-14 victory.
Turnipseed was 18-for-31 for 279 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. But he was totally bottled up, rushing for just 10 yards on six carries.
“We had planned for him,” Phillips defensive lineman Chris Elmore said. “We know he is an athletic quarterback, if you give him a hole he is going to take it. We made sure that the defensive line stopped him at the line of scrimmage.”
The Raiders (1-6, 1-3 Illini Land of Lincoln) managed just 41 rushing yards in the game. Phillips (6-1, 4-0) didn’t have any problems on the ground. Running back Kamari Mosby was off to the races for most of the game, finishing with 11 carries for 124 yards with touchdown runs of 22, five and 54 yards.
Wildcats quarterback J’Bore Gibbs had a knack for finding the big play. He finished 6-for-8 for 184 yards with touchdown passes of 82, four and 76 yards.
Phillips receivers Fabian McCray (three receptions, 91 yards, one touchdown) and Jermaine Broadnax (three receptions, 93 yards, two touchdowns) were both extremely elusive every time they caught the ball.
“The offense seems to get off the field pretty quickly in every game lately,” Gibbs said. “It’s a good thing.”
The Wildcats appear to be the class of the Public League once again this season, but they have the same worries as every other team when it comes to the possible Chicago Teachers Union strike next week.
“It’s all out of our control, that’s the frustrating part,” McAllister said. “We have no control over the situation. The young men have been awesome about it, but I know deep down they are hurting.”
The Wildcats have strong senior leaders. Unlike some teams, they have already set things up for players-only practices if the strike does happen next week.
“It’s regular practice time on Tuesday no matter what,” Elmore said. “All the captains have formed a captain practice and we’re just going to go from there. It’s pretty frustrating. Especially with it being our senior year. I wish they would have done it earlier rather than now because they are playing around with who can be in the playoffs.”
If the Public League does play football next week Phillips will face Solorio. The Sun Warriors feature Quincy Patterson, a more fully-established version of Turnipseed. It would be one of the top games in the city this season.
“We hope it happens,” Gibbs said. “We will all be so relieved if they don’t strike. Worrying about it has tarnished the season a little bit but I’m just trying to stay positive. If it happens, it happens.”