Loy, Stephenson are dynamic duo for Bishops
Griffie Loy provides the thunder. DeAngelo Stephenson provides the lightning.
Bishop England’s dynamic duo had a big role in the Bishops’ first football state championship last year. The seniors are back for one more season and, perhaps, another title.
Loy is a 5-10, 220-pound fullback who bruises defenders with a strong inside presence. He’s not one-dimensional, either. He’s a force at defensive end and had the best shot put at the state track meet last spring. Stephenson is a 5-10, 190-pound running back who is also dangerous in the slot position. He’s a lockdown cornerback who was one of the best sprinters at the state track meet.
The players are a big part of the nucleus coach John Cantey is counting on as he begins his fifth year as head coach.
“They’re good football players and good students,” said Cantey, whose team went 13-1 and won the Division II-AA state title. “They work hard. They don’t slack, and that’s important because the younger players are watching. When they see Griffie and DeAngelo doing the work, they know what needs to be done.”
Loy carried 99 times for 463 yards and scored three touchdowns on the ground. He also caught 11 passes, including a 23-yard TD reception in a 10-0 victory over Central in the title game. He had 67 tackles on defense including 16 for a loss, which tied for the team lead.
“The thing about Griffie is he is so strong,” Cantey said. “On offense, he’s like the boxer who delivers all those body shots. It takes a toll after a while.”
Stephenson missed a month of the regular season because of an injury, but still was productive. He was second on the team with 21 catches for 347 yards and three scores. He made 38 tackles, led the team with five pass deflections and was second with six interceptions.
“DeAngelo gives us that extra dimension, that extra one-step ahead,” Cantey said. “He ran a 4.34 in the 40-yard dash at the Shrine Bowl combine, so you know when he gets around the corner it’s going to be a footrace to the end zone.”
Loy said he feels added pressure to win after claiming the state title a year ago. “I try not to think about last year,” Loy said. “It’s what’s in front of us that counts. People know we have a good team, and that means we are going to get everybody’s best shot. I just want to have fun and win football games.”
Follow Philip M. Bowman on Twitter: @pandcphil