All-metro Football -- Offense



Nathan Irby

Dunbar, running back

Field vision, elusiveness and split-second cut-back skills were all qualities regularly exhibited by the 5-foot-11, 180-pound repeat All-Metro performer.

As a running back, Irby rushed for 26 touchdowns. He also caught four touchdown passes, threw two scoring passes, returned a kickoff for another score and a punt for yet another. He scored 20 two-point conversions and a total of 250 points for the Poets. Irby led fourth-ranked Dunbar (13-1) to a 16-14, Class 1A state championship win over defending champ Joppatowne of Harford County. The victory ended a 13-game winning streak.

In the state title game, Irby rushed for 189 yards and his 35th touchdown - an effort that raised his single-season rushing totals to 2,883 yards and allowed him to eclipse the old public and private school state single-season rushing record of 2,871 yards held by Ben Tate of Stephen Decatur.

Irby, who was featured in the Dec. 13 edition of Sports Illustrated's "Faces In The Crowd" section, rushed for 1,404 yards and 12 touchdowns over the Poets' last five games. That stretch began with a 408-yard, five-touchdown performance in a rout of Baltimore City rival Forest Park in the regular-season finale.

Also a defensive back - the position some recruiters project him to play should he pursue a college career - Irby returned two of his seven interceptions for touchdowns, caused four fumbles and recovered three others. A ferocious hitter, the senior ranked fifth on the team with 98 tackles - 27 of them unassisted.

Also an All-Metro performer in basketball, Irby led the Poets to the their second consecutive 1A state title in that sport last season.


Ben Eaton


It has been eight years since Eaton stood on the sideline as an assistant to Stanley Mitchell, whose Poets were state runners-up to Fort Hill in 1997. Eaton earlier had assisted Mitchell's 2A and 3A state champion Poets of '94 and '95. But since becoming the head coach in '98, Eaton - following a couple of sub-par seasons - was able to return Dunbar's program to dominance in his seventh season.

Eaton's emphasis on old-school techniques and discipline, on toughness and tradition and his faith in a young coaching staff sparked the unleashing of a talented, physical squad. Dunbar earned its fourth trip to the state title game, a 16-14 Class 1A victory over defending champ Joppatowne, and a record-breaking, 13-1 season that ended with The Sun's No. 4 ranking.

Under Eaton, a 1966 graduate of Douglass High and a All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference offensive lineman as a senior at Morgan State in 1970, Dunbar won 13 consecutive games and its fourth Baltimore City title. Eaton's career record rose to 55-24, and the Poets joined Damascus, Seneca Valley and Wilde Lake as the only programs to win titles in three different classifications.

Eaton's assistants were Travis Blackston (offense), Anderson Powell (defense), Lawrence Smith (offensive line), William Crawford (defensive line) and Nate Brown (special teams).


Adam Berry

Bel Air, wide receiver

This repeat All-Metro performer improved his overall performance from last season. The senior led the Bobcats to the Class 3A North region title after being runners-up last season. He made an impact on both sides of the ball in Bel Air's state semifinal loss to eventual state champ Northwest of Montgomery County.

Berry finished the year with 46 receptions for 658 yards and 12 touchdowns, an improvement over last year's 35 catches, 626 yards and 10 touchdowns. Against Northwest, Berry caught eight passes for 67 yards, and, as a defensive back, intercepted his fourth pass of the season.

An A-student with a 1,430 SAT score who ranks No. 1 in his class, Berry is receiving interest from Georgetown University as well as Ivy League programs Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Cornell and Pennsylvania.

Alan Bosworth

Dunbar, lineman

The 6-foot-2, 315-pound junior benefitted from the teachings of coach Ben Eaton, a former standout offensive lineman at Morgan State. Bosworth was an anchor and a leader on a line whose average size was 6-2, 280 pounds.

Behind Bosworth, Yusuf Dorman-El, Antonio Powell, Cecil Crowell and John McCoy, the Poets generated nearly 6,700 total yards of offense - 4,521 rushing and 2,179 passing.

Bosworth was adept at both drive blocking and pass blocking. Although the Poets' general bulk was usually enough to keep opposing linemen busy, it was Bosworth who was the primary key to the record-breaking seasons enjoyed by running back Nathan Irby and wide receiver Darron Edwards.

Ryan Callahan

Old Mill, running back

The 5-foot-7, 150-pound junior used his 4.3-second speed in the 40-yard dash to establish Anne Arundel County single-season records for rushing yards (2,396), rushing touchdowns (35), total touchdowns (36) and total points (216). In doing so, Callahan led the Patriots to a 10-2 record and the school's first postseason victory in eight playoff berths.

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