Phillips Big Blue Football '07

Phillips aims to stop Trinity-Pawling's brilliant running back

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Wednesday, November, 14 By Dave Dyer
Staff writer

Some of the Phillips Academy seniors are tired of finishing the season with a loss, so they're approaching Saturday's NEPSAC football title game with Trinity-Pawling with more intensity.

Kickoff is 1 p.m. at Williston-Northampton.

"Our theme this week is that we're not done," said Phillips coach Leon Modeste. "We're taking the game a lot more seriously."

The Big Blue (7-1) have lost in the playoff game, officially called the Eaton Estey Bowl, the last two years, including in 2005 to Trinity-Pawling (42-26).

"We're going to need to bring our 'A' game to have a chance, but I like our chances better this time," said Modeste. "That (Trinity-Pawling) team two years ago was amazing. If there ever was a stronger team than that, I'd like to see it."

Trinity-Pawling, which is located in the town of Pawling in upstate New York, is also 7-1 this year and has defeated two common opponents by similar scores. Phillips defeated Cushing Academy 34-6 and Loomis Chaffee 32-6 while the Pride beat the same two schools 33-0 and 39-14.

"They're really big and have a great back in Quendel Ellison," said Modeste. "We'll have to slow him down."

That's easier said than done. A 5-10, 200-pounder with 4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash, Ellison has scored 18 TDs and has rushed for 1,138 yards on 161 carries. Aaron Gregory has thrown seven TD passes.

Trinity-Pawling's defense, led by the coach's son, linebacker Chris Coratti, has been stingy late in the season, with two shutouts and only 51 points allowed in the last six games. Coratti rushed 14 times for 80 yards and had 13 tackles as T-P beat previously unbeaten Salisbury, 27-14, over the weekend.

Phillips is led by quarterback Bryan Farris of Derry, who has thrown for 1,908 yards and 16 TDs. Dan Evans is the leading rusher with 349 yards on 71 carries.

Evans, Haverhill's Thane Sanford and lineman Peter Schock lead the defense. Phillips has held five of its eight opponents to one touchdown or less.

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