football Class 1A South

Austin leads Poets over Surrattsville

Back scores 3 times, sets state mark for career touchdowns

No. 2 Dunbar 28 Surrattsville 6

Varsity

November 25, 2007|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Sun reporter

Tavon Austin ran for 290 yards and scored three touchdowns on 30 carries yesterday to lead No. 2 Dunbar to a 28-6 victory over Surrattsville of Prince George's County in the Class 1A South regional final yesterday at Lumsden-Scott Stadium at Poly.

Austin, a 5-foot-9, 170-pound junior, has 36 touchdowns (29 rushing) this season and a state-record 89 for his career. His second touchdown yesterday, a 15-yard run in the second quarter, broke the record of 87 by Old Mill's Ryan Callahan (2003-2005).

"I feel good about the record," said Austin, who had a career-high 344 rushing yards against Edmondson this season.

"Like I said before, if wasn't for my [offensive] line, I wouldn't have the record."

The defending state champion Poets (12-0) moved to the state semifinals for a fifth consecutive season, seeking their third state title in four years.

At 2 p.m. Saturday, Dunbar will host South Carroll, which beat Catoctin, 7-6, on Friday night to win the 1A North region.

"We're doing this without Coach [Ben] Eaton [who died before the season] being here," Poets coach Lawrence Smith said.

Eaton's wife, Sandra, and son, Ben, were at the game, and Sandra Eaton was in the middle of the post-game huddle.

"Mrs. Eaton has been our inspiration all season, and we're trying to be her crutch all year," Smith said.

"We know this is extremely hard for her. When the kids see her, it really fires them up. It's like looking at Coach Eaton when the kids see her."

Dunbar's defense really was fired up yesterday against the Hornets (10-2), holding University of Maryland-bound running back Davin Meggett to 14 carries for 76 yards, 33 of them coming in the last 12 minutes.

Meggett, the son of former Towson University and NFL star David Meggett, came into the game with 1,703 rushing yards and 25 rushing touchdowns (31 overall).

"Our defensive coordinator, Coach Powell [Anderson], came up with a great game plan, " said Poets senior linebacker Keon Redhead, who chased down Meggett all game.

"We were basically able to call their plays time after time."

Surrattsville thought it was back in the game when Meggett bulled his way 19 yards for a touchdown on the fourth play of the fourth quarter. Meggett's run made it 22-6, but Austin ended the Hornets' comeback bid on Dunbar's next offensive play with a 61-yard touchdown run.

pat.omalley@baltsun.com

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