Dunbar opens on roll, rips Randallstown, 56-0 Experienced Poets take advantage of mistakes

September 08, 1996|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The top-ranked Dunbar Poets began their run for a third consecutive state football championship yesterday and unranked Randallstown could do nothing to stop them.

The visiting Poets scored nearly every way conceivable, including two safeties and two touchdowns on fumble recoveries, before settling for a season-opening 56-0 victory.

"We're a young team and we still have a lot of things that we have to work on," said Dunbar coach Stanley Mitchell, sounding more like a losing coach. "This was a learning experience today for a lot of these kids. We made a lot of mistakes and we will correct them this week. Stiffer competition will come down the road and I told these guys,'Don't let this fool you because we blew a team out.' This was not a Dunbar performance out there at all."

The Rams' opening drive, if you can call it that, featured two incomplete passes, two offside penalties and a botched snap on lTC a punt that gave Dunbar first-and-goal at the 5. Two plays later, Ali Culpepper plowed in for the Poets' first touchdown of the 1996 season.

Unfortunately for Randallstown, there would be more scores. Many more.

Dunbar's offense, with junior Denelle Hale making his first start at quarterback, sputtered early and fumbled the ball away twice, but put together some good drives and showed they still have some people who can make big plays.

Junior wide receiver Dahnel Singfield seemed to be enjoying Dunbar's newfound aerial attack, as he caught three passes, included a 48-yard strike from Hale late in the first quarter.

In his starting debut, Hale completed 11 of 14 passes for 110 yards, two touchdowns and five two-point conversions.

Dunbar's defense, without All-Metro linebacker Tommy Polley (Florida State), showed no weaknesses while holding the Rams to one first down (compliments of an equipment violation) and minus-64 yards of total offense.

Two-way starter Carlrome Randle shined on both sides of the ball for Dunbar. Randle scored on a 9-yard run, caught an 11-yard touchdown pass, had four sacks and was responsible for a safety. Culpepper, an All-Metro selection who ran for more than 1,800 yards last season, was used sparingly but still managed to rush for 74 yards and two touchdowns.

"We did OK today but we can do a whole lot better, 75 to 100 percent better," said Culpepper.

Derry Williams, an All-Metro pick who had 10 interceptions last season, picked up a fumble and ran 14 yards for a touchdown in the first half that ended with the Poets out front, 42-0.

"The difference today was, Dunbar is an experienced team with a winning tradition and we're a team right now that is basically brand new," said Rams first-year coach Rudy Hughes, who learned Thursday that four of his starters were academically ineligible.

"They just wore us down at the skilled positions."

Pub Date: 9/08/96

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