Compton brothers key Frankford's win over Washington

Posted: October 05, 2012

If the heavy-set Frankford High football fan, perched in the stands and wearing a yellow shirt, bellowed his catch phrase once, he did so 54 times.

Meanwhile, down at field level, Rasheed Muhammad, the offensive co-coordinator with David Cebular (upstairs), kept yelling again and again, "They said we can't run! Yeah? Well, watch this!"

The guy mentioned in paragraph No. 1 was Lorenzo Compton, father of three kids who are currently important to the Pioneers' success. And the older (by 2 minutes) of Dad's senior fraternal twins, center Lorenz "Bubbles" Compton, was one of the main reasons Muhammad's words never get stuffed down his throat.

Frankford 25, visiting George Washington 14. The was the final score Friday in a Public AAAA Gold contest, and the Comptons, especially Bubbles, left the premises in wonderful spirits.

He's the acknowledged leader of the offensive line and all week he knew drive blocking would be important, because star quarterback Tim DiGiorgio (strained medial collateral ligament in his right knee) would be limited or completely unavailable. As it turned out, after missing one game, DiGiorgio did receive clearance Thursday. He wouldn't be himself, however.

"We knew all week we had to do a better job of blocking," Bubbles Compton said. "I knew a lot of that responsibility was put on me. I liked that challenge."

Then came the phone call.

At 9 a.m. Friday, Muhammad said, a Washington player/coach/loyalist buzzed his cellphone from an unknown number and screeched how the Eagles would win, because Frankford had no running game.

Muhammad informed his grunts. Was he telling the truth, or just trying to use something/anything for psych-'em-up purposes?

"It happened," Muhammad insisted.

"I believed him," Bubbles said. "And it got us fired up. We had to prove them wrong. We can run the ball.

"I even spoke to Tim before the game. I told him, 'Don't do much passing. I want to see where our running game is. Keep the faith in the o-line and running backs.' "

After the defense posted a three-and-out to start the proceedings, Frankford marched 68 yards in five plays for a tone-setting touchdown. Don't all faint at once: Every play was a run. Even on the next possession, set up by Jahlil Harris' fumble recovery, three of the four plays were runs. This time, junior tailback Damion "Jawzy" Samuels scored from the 5 (previously, he'd done so on a 27-yard gallop).

Overall, the running game produced 159 yards on 31 carries, and DiGiorgio still managed to add 100 more in the air on a 6-for-14 effort. The tight end was Wydell "Woo Woo" Compton (three catches, 64 yards), a junior. Renz "Rodeo" Compton (1-9), Bubbles' twin, was one of the wideouts.

Oh, and the catch phrase continuously spouted by Dad was, "Five-four strong!"

Fifty-four is Bubbles' uniform number. Dad yells those words for a twofold reason. To inspire Bubbles, the individual, and Bubbles, the leader.

"I love when he yells that," Bubbles said. "I always listen for it. I take it to heart. It motivates me."

The other grunts were guards Will Robinson and Carlos Sandana, and tackles Unique Davis and Kelvin Coit.

Bubbles and Rodeo received their nicknames for how they tackled while playing youth ball for the Frankford Chargers. A coach said Lorenz hit people so hard, it looked as if he were popping bubbles. Renz brought down guys in rodeo fashion.

As for Woo Woo . . . "I have a cousin with that name," Bubbles said. "When Wydell was little, he looked just like my cousin, so that name got put on him."

Bubbles doesn't mind that his brothers play skill positions, while he's stuck inside.

"I love my brothers. I like for them to get the most shine," he said. "They deserve it."

He then told a story about how he'd stopping playing football.

"When Rodeo was playing his first year with the Chargers' 160s, he wanted me to come back," Bubbles said. "He was playing center. He asked me to play center, so he could move to receiver and prepare himself for high school ball. I did that. No problem. I'm still here and I wear the same number Wendell [class of 2011, oldest brother] did when he was playing for Frankford."

Samuels had an interesting afternoon. Late in the first quarter, after Washington had moved within 13-7 on Donald Smith's 1-yard run, Samuels stood and watched as the kickoff was recovered on the 4. After the game, he said he'd left the ball alone because he thought that he was in the end zone and that a ref would blow a whistle any second to signal an automatic touchback. Luckily for Samuels, Frankford's defense held.

To start the second half, Samuels did pick up the ball . . . and zoomed for a 94-yard TD (with Bubbles throwing a key block).

The Comptons - there are eight brothers; the younger ones favor basketball - live on Orthodox Street near Hawthorne in East Frankford. Bubbles said he hopes to play college football with Rodeo and Woo Woo and that he wants to become a carpenter or phys ed teacher.

As DiGiorgio's knee gets better, Bubbles Compton knows Frankford will return to its pass-happy ways.

But he also knows this:

"Now we know we can run the football against a tough opponent," he said. "That's why this game was so important."

Five-four was strong. Indeed.

Contact Ted Silary at silaryt@phillynews.com. High school coverage online at www.philly.com/rally.

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