With Hayes, Dunbar rallies, 24-20

Receiver's two-TD day helps Poets stop Poly


September 23, 2001|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

When Herman Hayes came to Dunbar, he was primarily known for his skills as a basketball player, but, the slender junior later said, if he'd known football was so much fun, he would have put on the pads a long time before.

Although only in his second year in organized football, the 6-foot, 175-pound receiver played with the poise of a veteran yesterday, grabbing four passes for 82 yards and two touchdowns in a come-from-behind 24-20 victory at Poly.

Junior quarterback Byron Selby was 8-for-11 for 125 yards and rushed for a score, and junior teammate Eric Valentine had 272 of the Poets' 289 rushing yards, including a 65-yard sprint that brought Dunbar within 8-6 in the first quarter.

But Hayes was the most surprising standout; his two 14-yard catches accounted for the Poets' second and fourth touchdowns. And in the fourth quarter, with his team facing fourth-and-one at Poly's 24, Hayes' 23-yard reception set up Selby's 1-yard run to bring Dunbar within 20-18.

"I was feeling it today. I never knew it would be this much fun," said Hayes, who can dunk a basketball and is known for his dribbling ability. "I was confident the whole game. I get that from my quarterback."

Hayes saved his best for the fourth quarter. Facing third-and-32 at Poly's 43-yard line, he outleaped a defender for a 33-yard reception. Two plays later, he again jumped over a defender for the touchdown, permanently giving Dunbar the lead.

Hayes closed with an interception, aborting Poly's final drive at its 40 and allowing Dunbar to run out the game's remaining 2:42.

Selby credited the blocking of running back Raphael McFadden, and linemen Chris Rogers, Phillip Turner, George Davis, Durrell York and Devin Thompson.

"The pass-blocking was great, but sometimes I sat back and held the ball too long," said Selby, who was sacked three times. "When I do throw it up, my receivers are going to come down with it. That's what Herman did, making big plays when he had to."

The Poets overcame a yeoman effort by Poly's Tavon McGee, who was 11-for-23 for 209 yards and threw scoring passes to three different receivers. McGee found Jasper Montgomery on a 25-yard pass, followed by Montgomery's conversion run for an 8-0 lead.

A 24-yard catch by Teddy Savage gave the Engineers a 14-6 lead with 9:46 left in the first half, and a 60-yarder to Brett Diggs (three receptions, 111 yards) put them up 20-12 with 9:15 to play.

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