Irby leads Dunbar to 30-22 win

He rushes for 302 yards as Poets claim region title

Class 1A South football

High Schools

November 23, 2003|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Shortly after completing a touchdown drive late in the third quarter of yesterday's Class 1A South region final game, Dunbar's entire offensive line made its way to the bench, covering just about every inch for a brief rest.

When running back Nathan Irby made his way over, the group quickly made sure to find some room. Fitting, that's how things went on the field at City College, too, against Poolesville from Montgomery County.

Irby carried the ball 39 times for 302 yards and two touchdowns before quarterback Earl Chaptman and wide receiver Barry Jenifer took care of the rest in the game's final minute.

Chaptman found Jenifer in the right corner of the end zone for a 25-yard touchdown with 23 seconds left that gave the No. 15 Poets a 30-22 win over the Falcons that sends them to next week's state semifinals against Joppatowne.

After Poolesville (11-1) tied the game at 22 with 4:21 left, the Poets got a 23-yard kick return from Craig Singletary to start the winning drive on the Falcons' 49. They called Irby's number seven straight times to reach the 25 before Chaptman found Jenifer on a fade route for the game-winning score.

"It felt good and I'm just glad I caught it. Coach [Ben Eaton] said we were going to throw it up to me. I just went up and got it," said Jenifer, a senior who had four touchdowns on the season.

City College Field has been good to Irby this season. In the second week of the season against City, the junior tailback ran for 231 yards and three touchdowns along with a 70-yard punt return for another score in a 38-20 win.

Running behind the sturdy offensive line of Barry Bankins, Alan Bosworth, Cecil Crowell, James Conway and Antonio Powell, Irby was able to find plenty of holes in the Poolesville 3-4 defense.

"This has been my good-luck field the way I can come in and gain a lot of yards running," said Irby. "Our linemen were working hard all week in practice - pushing the sled, pulling tires - we just knew we could come in and pound them with the run up the middle."

The Falcons lost their top running back, Vince Riggs, early in the game with an injury, so they relied on the running and throwing of quarterback Gary Ward, who responded with 280 yards of total offense.

Trailing 22-14 with 9:11 left, Ward went 4-for-4 in the air for 50 yards and ran for 25 more yards, completing a 10-play, 77-yard drive with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Chris Kramek.

Ward again found Kramek on the two-point conversion to tie the game at 22 with 4:21 left, but the Poets had the final say.

Poolesville 0 14 0 8 - 22

Dunbar 8 6 8 8 - 30

D - Sessions 26 pass from Chaptman (Irby run) P - Ward 1 run (run failed) D - Irby 3 run (run failed) P - Suchdolski 1 run (Funk pass Ward) D - Irby 6 run (Irby run) P - Kramek 8 pass from Ward (Kramek pass from Ward) D - Jenifer 25 pass from Chaptman (Irby run)

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