Undefeated Dunbar marched to its third straight victory yesterday, a 22-0 triumph over host Northwestern in a Maryland Scholastic Association B Conference lnterdivisional game.
The game had no bearing on the divisional standings but it was a match between two programs that have had problems gettlng players in the past couple of seasons.
Dunbar seems to have overcome its difficulties. Last season, the Poets won their first six games before injuries contributed to losses in their last three. During summer practice, coach Pete Pompey said he had an average of only 14 or 15 players for practice.
"All we hope is to progress game by game." Pompey said. "We get a lot of kids at the start of school, but we look for the upperclassmen -Charles Bell, Don Meredith and Nathan Smith - to lead the others. This is the fIrst game this season that we had a consistent game from both the offense and defense."
The Poets had a balanced offense that gained 276 yards (102 passing and 174 rushing). Their defense allowed Northwestern (1-1) only 90 yards.
Led by Bell (nine tackles, two assists) and Meredith (seven tackles). they held Wildcats running back Monte Bowens to 45 yards rushing. He had gained 204 against Southern last week.
"They [the Poets] were impressive." Northwestern coach Lynn Badham said. "Dunbar made fewer mistakes than we did, but a Pete Pompey team is always well-disciplined and well-coached. Right now, we're hoping to get healthy and be in the thick of things." After guiding the Wildcats to six victories last season (up from two the previous five seasons), Badham said poor practice turnouts almost put the team's season in jeopardy two weeks ago.
"We were very close to forfeiting the season." he said. "We were fortunate to get some kids right at the opening of school. A lot of kids work during the summer, and giving up the money isn't that easy. Dedication is a part of football."
The Poets opened the scoring with a seven-play, 51-yard drive, capped by a 14-yard pass from Smith to Bell.