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Tobias creates big problem for QBs

South Pike quarterback Fred Jones probably had nightmares ofjersey No. 55 chasing him across the gridiron. Brookhaven defensiveend Philip Tobias led a pack of Panthers who intensely pursued andpressured Jones last Friday night in the Region 6-4A showdown onKing Field.

Tobias (6-3, 290) was credited with 11 tackles, including 4quarterback sacks and 2 pass deflections, as the Panthers beatSouth Pike 40-21, handing the Eagles their first loss of theseason. That performance earned Tobias The DAILY LEADER’s DefensivePlayer of the Week honors for the eighth week of the 2003campaign.

“It’s a pretty easy job playing defensive end,” said Tobias.”You have to stay outside. The main thing is don’t let thequarterback get outside.

“If you let Fred Jones get outside, he will probably be gone.”Tobias tackled Jones 4 times for losses.

According to Tobias his favorite defensive alignment isLightning Drop. “That’s when I fall back in pass coverage. I coverthe flat.”

Tobias returned a fumble for a touchdown against Terry two weeksago. He accounted for a safety in Brookhaven’s season-opener atHazlehurst, tackling the quarterback in the end zone.

Defense, according to Tobias, requires a team effort. Herecognized defensive tackles Zach Ray and Jessie Bowman, endsPatrick Earl, Darius Perkins and Julius Brown, linebackers JasonDixon and and Aljur Herring, cornerbacks Tyrone Jones and AnthonyCaffie, free safety Jarvis Wilson and strong safety MarlonDixon.

“On and off the field we act like brothers toward each other,”said Tobias. “We must all fly to the ball so they (opponents) won’tget big yardage on us.”

Beating South Pike on Senior Night was special. “It was our lasthome game. Parents came out to see you play.”

He is the son of Larry and Marcia Wilcher. His biological fatheris Donald Tobias, a former standout in football and basketball atBogue Chitto.

Brookhaven head coach Tucker Peavey recognizes the contributionsmade by Tobias, one of 16 seniors on the squad. “Philip is veryconsistent. He comes to work every day. He is certainly a leader ofour team.”

Peavey said Tobias has the physical skills to compliment hiswork ethic. “He has a very good combination of size, speed,strength and intelligence. He plays disciplined football and he’s adisciplined player. He does the things we ask him to do to containthe offense.”

Obviously, Tobias is drawing some strong attention from DivisionI football programs. He wouldn’t mind playing for either SouthernMiss or LSU.

Tobias has a core curriculum average of 3.0 and is 3.42 overall.His favorite subject is math. He takes the ACT Saturday for asecond time. “I’d like to score 22 or higher on my ACT.”

Looking to the state playoffs which begin Nov. 7, Tobias said heis confident the Panthers (7-1), ranked No. 7 in the latestAssociated Press Prep Poll, can make a strong run at the statechampionship. “I believe we have the best coaching staff in thestate. Our team is playing together.”

A devoted follower of the St. Louis Rams, Tobias said he enjoyedwatching quarterback Kurt Warner and running back Marshall Faulkwin the Super Bowl a few years ago. His favorite NFL player isdefensive end Simeon Rice of Tampa Bay.