Down 14, Carver surprises Dunbar

Safety with 3:37 to play upends No. 13 Poets, 16-14


High School

October 13, 2001|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

As time elapsed in unranked Carver's 16-14 upset victory over No. 13 Dunbar, coach Ron Frierson's lips trembled with emotion, and principal Michael Plitt stood nearby, simply thanking "the Lord."

The two were oblivious to the rest of the Bears players, who already had charged onto the field in wild celebration of having overcome a 14-0 halftime deficit with a suddenly explosive offense and a hard-hitting defense.

David Jefferson rushed for 100 yards and one touchdown, Kenard Fraction passed for 160 yards and ran for a score, and Will Smith had a sack for the game-winning safety with 3:37 to play.

Dominic Brown, Daymien Sheppard and Emanuel Smith had 10, seven and five tackles, respectively, as Carver held the Poets to a season-low point total.

"During practice this week, I took cones and pylons and spread them all over the field. I had guys running until they were completely finished," said Frierson, whose team had not beaten Dunbar since 1989. "We've had players get taken out of games, argue with coaches. We've had adversity, but we deal with it. I told them at halftime, they were mentally prepared, physically prepared, there were no excuses. It's a lot of teaching, talking, pacing yourself, but it's worth the wait for something like this."

The Poets (5-1) entered the game having out-scored their opponents, 211-34, with three shutouts. And after scoring twice within the game's first six minutes, it appeared Dunbar was on its way to yet another rout.

Herman Hayes returned his first of two interceptions 60 yards for his seventh touchdown of the year, and Eric Valentine's 5-yard run, on Dunbar's first offensive series, made it 14-0.

But the Bears' running game got moving behind Jefferson, whose runs of 35 and 15 yards -- the latter for a touchdown -- were part of a four-play, 45-yard drive. Jefferson's conversion run made it 14-8 with 6:06 left in the third period.

Dunbar drove to Carver's 19 before the Bears' Devin Dixon recovered a fumble at his own 18. The Bears drove to Dunbar's 48 in eight plays before Fraction burned the Poets' secondary with his 50-yard strike to Anthony Mason despite being almost sandwiched by two Dunbar lineman. Fraction's 2-yard run on the next play tied the game with five minutes left.

Dunbar faced second-and-13 at its own 9 when quarterback Byron Selby was nailed by Will Smith in the end zone. The ball was jarred loose and rolled out of the end zone for the safety.

With two minutes left, Dunbar recovered a fumble at its own 34, but Carver's Shawn Wooden (seven tackles) then intercepted his second pass of the game and the Bears (4-2) ran out the clock.

"We knew we could win games," said Fraction. "This proves we can be a great team if everyone puts forth the effort."

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