Phillips Excited About State Title Game

Pearland High School had some anxious moments late Saturday afternoon in Waco, Texas as the WISD Stadium against San Antonio Madison. The Texas Class 5A Division I semifinal had been up and down with Madison leading at halftime 17-10 only to see Pearland surge in the second half before Madison took a late lead 34-31.

"It was really nerve racking," said Pearland linebacker Justin Phillips, who has been committed to Oklahoma State since last March. "It was a roller coaster and it was tight all the way through it. They (Madison) are a good team."

Phillips saw his teammate Jacoby Lewis go to his right on the kickoff and then burst through several tacklers and pursuers and go down the sideline for a 97-yard kickoff return with 1:36 left that put Pearland up for good 38-34 and send them to the state championship game.

"I'm really excited," Phillips said. "We've all worked hard, we put the work in for this going all the way back to last year and all summer long."

The 6-0, 200-pound Phillips, who has excellent speed, was recruited to play the "star" linebacker position for Oklahoma State. He is one of two OSU verbal commitments playing this week for a Texas State championship as Stamford wide receiver and athlete James Washington and his teammates will play Shiner in a 10 a.m. Class A title game on Thursday.

Phillips has 94 tackles on the season with a pair of interceptions and a fumble recovering. He also has 13 tackles for loss and a pair of sacks.

"Yes sir, as a whole our defense is pretty good," he said. "When we get turnovers, the kind of turnovers that can change the game, then our crowd goes nuts and you can feel the energy in our team. Allen is going to be tough as they have a really mobile quarterback and we are going to have to work hard all week on preparing to defend him."

Kyler Murray, the quarterback for Allen is the son of former Texas A&M quarterback Kevin Murray, who is now a renowned quarterback trainer. Pearland does have a big chore, but Phillips believes they are up to it.

"We'll leave (for Arlington) on Friday morning and spend the night and then have our walk through on Saturday and then we play at 4 (p.m.). You know it is neat because my next game will be against Florida State (Cowboys opener) in that stadium."

Oklahoma State's next two games are there in AT&T Cowboys Stadium with the Cotton Bowl coming up, but right now Phillips is just focused on Saturday afternoon and the Allen Eagles.

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