Austin propels Dunbar past Forestville

His 154 yards, 3 TDs lead 1A South win

Dunbar 38 Forestville 22

November 26, 2006|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN REPORTER

Even after beating Poolesville of Montgomery County for the third straight time for last fall's Class 1A South region crown, Dunbar's coaches said there were still those who doubted the credibility of their school's program.

In last night's 38-22 1A South win over high-scoring Forestville (8-4) of Prince George's County, the 14th-ranked Poets (9-3) demonstrated their staying power once again.

Tavon Austin rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns, returned a fumble 60 yards for another score and returned one of his three interceptions 64 yards to set up one of the three touchdowns scored by Maurice Portee (132 rushing yards) at Poly as Dunbar earned a berth against Elkton (8-4) of Cecil County in next Saturday's state semifinal.

"This year, when the Prince George's County schools dropped into our region, we weren't supposed to be around," said Travis Blackston, an assistant to Ben Eaton. "We showed that you still have to come through Dunbar in this region."

Austin and Portee, who also had a scoring reception from Keith Jones, were part of a defensive secondary that quelled potent passer Kevin Dickerson.

Dickerson has passed for 2,382 yards and 29 touchdowns, including last night's 150 yards for two touchdowns and his one rushing score. But Dickerson's targets, 6-foot-5 Devonte Campbell and 6-3 Kevin Dorsey, were effectively contained as Dunbar built a 32-8 lead early in the third quarter.

The receivers were held in check by a rotation of defenders, including Kendall Jamison, Michael McNeil, Davon Muse, who had a fumble recovery, and Tevin Brown, who had an interception. Dunbar's Horace Miller also recovered a fumble.

"We heard all of the talk about how good their passing game was," Portee said. "But they have to come to our house to beat us."

Forestville's Evan Murray, the defensive coordinator, credited the Poets' offensive line - including Matthew Odezego (6-3, 240 pounds), James Coppage (6-3, 307), Brandon Brown (6-3, 330) and Gary Onuekwus - behind which Austin has scored 25 touchdowns.

"Austin's got to be one of the best I've seen," said Murray. "But his offensive line is phenomenal."

Eaton, a ninth-year head coach, has been on the sidelines as Dunbar won state titles in 1A, 2A and 3A, joining state powers Damascus, Seneca Valley and Wilde Lake as the only programs to be crowned champs in three different classifications. Eaton was an assistant to Stanley Mitchell for five years through 1997 as Dunbar won two state titles in three championship berths, and he coached the 1A champs of 2004.

Forestville 0 8 6 8 - 22

Dunbar 14 12 12 0 - 38

D-Austin 60 fumble return (run failed)

D-Austin 17 run (Portee run)

F-Bembry 6 pass from Dickerson (Van Buren run)

D-Portee 10 run (run failed)

D-Portee 16 pass from Jones (run failed)

D-Austin 37 run (pass failed)

F-Campbell 31 pass from Dickerson (pass failed)

D-Portee 15 run (run failed)

F-Dickerson (Fuller pass from Dickerson)

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