Dunbar doesn't let mistakes stand in way of 42-2 rout Poets roll over Owings Mills despite penalties, turnovers

Class 2A football

November 16, 1997|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Dunbar made its statement -- but it lacked an exclamation point.

Entering the Class 2A tournament as the seventh seed, the Poets plowed past second-seeded Owings Mills, 42-2, yesterday at Catonsville Community College despite five turnovers and 10 penalties for 75 yards.

Dunbar (7-4), which is ranked No. 15 in the area, won its sixth game in a row to advance to its fifth straight state semifinal, where it meets Poly. Owings Mills (9-2) had won six consecutive games.

"As a coach, you're never satisfied," Poets coach Stanley Mitchell said. "We're doing a lot of things we shouldn't be doing right now."

Dunbar displayed some of the same sloppy tendancies that resulted in a 1-4 start this season. Yesterday, however, the Poets offset their mistakes with brutal defense and the running of Thomas James, who rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns in three quarters.

Dunbar might have given Owings Mills 75 yards in penalties, but yielded only 94 yards on defense including two goal-line stands. The Poets also turned the ball over five times, but countered by recovering two fumbles and making three interceptions.

One of those interceptions was returned 80 yards for a touchdown by Dahnel Singfield, but was called back on a clipping penalty.

"We came to prove we're No. 1 today," said Kirk Williams, a 6-foot-1, 240-pound Dunbar linebacker. "We wanted to show people we're going all the way."

Dunbar's first punt made a high bounce a few yards in front of Owings Mills returner Frank Bruton, who mistakenly leaped to field it at the 5-yard line. The ball scraped off Bruton's hand and rolled into the end zone, where the Poets' Tyrel Henderson recovered it for a 6-0 lead two minutes into the game.

James then added touchdown runs of 1 and 41 yards as the Poets increased their lead to 22-0 with 10: 23 left in the second quarter.

Dunbar wasn't finished, putting together one of its most impressive drives of the season in the final minute of the first half. The Poets drove 99 yards on four plays, capped by DeNelle Hale's 18-yard touchdown pass to Singfield on a slant route for a 28-0 margin.

Owings Mills, which netted negative yardage in three of its first four drives, managed only 26 yards of total offense in the first half. Eagles running back Marvin Reed, the area's top scorer, was held to 1 yard or fewer on six of his 13 carries.

The only points for Owings Mills came midway through the third quarter, when Reed stopped James in the end zone.

"Their team size inside just dominated us and I knew that coming into the game," Owings Mills' first-year coach Randy Pentz said. "They had about 30 or 40 pounds on our guys across the line. In our wing-T offense, we live on the misdirection. But we couldn't get anything going with them controlling the inside like that."

Pub Date: 11/16/97

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