No. 7 Poly rallies late to beat No. 6 Dunbar, 18-14

QB Darrell Milburn's 37-yard TD run with 1:55 left lifts Engineers

  • Poly's Jordan Garrison recovers a fumble by Dunbar's Paki Brown, which led to the Engineers' winning score.
Poly's Jordan Garrison recovers a fumble by Dunbar's… (Baltimore Sun photo by Gene…)
October 21, 2011|By Rich Scherr, Special to The Baltimore Sun

Poly quarterback Darrell Milburn never had a doubt his teammates would find a way to get the ball back in the waning minutes Friday against No. 6 Dunbar — despite the Poets' significant size advantage on the offensive line.

"A lot of people kept talking about how little we were," Milburn said. "I understand we're little, but they don't know how big our hearts are."

Nigel Benjamin recovered a fumble deep in his own territory with just under 4 minutes left, and Milburn then led No. 7 Poly on an 83-yard drive, capped by his go-ahead 37-yard touchdown run with 1:55 to play, giving the host Engineers an 18-14 come-from-behind win.

Trailing 14-6, Poly (8-0 overall, 7-0 in Baltimore City Div. I) — playing for the second straight game without star tight end and corner Donovan Riley (ankle) — scored two touchdowns in a span of 2:52 to snap its seven-game losing streak against the Poets (6-2, 5-2) and remain in strong position for a playoff berth in Class 4A North.

"I'm retiring this year, and they said, 'We're going to send you out with a victory over these guys,'" Engineers coach Roger Wrenn said. "I told them, 'When you wake up tomorrow, be able to look in the mirror and say 'I gave everything I could give.' I just thought we played our hearts out, and deserved the victory."

For much of the game, Dunbar looked poised for victory. DeonTay McManus, a star wide receiver committed to West Virginia, gained 140 yards on 19 carries with a pair of touchdowns in his first game as a featured running back.

But in the end, Poly's stingy defense, as well as Dunbar's own mistakes, made the difference.

Leading 14-12, the Poets seemed to have all but sealed the victory when receiver Aaron Haynes hauled in a long pass from sophomore quarterback William Crest on a third-and 13 play with 3:44 left. But as Haynes fought for extra yardage, he was stripped of the ball, and Banjamin recovered at the Poly 17.

Poly, given another chance, then broke out its 2-minute offense, with Milburn running it to near perfection.

"When the money was on the table, brother, he was as clutch as you can get," Wrenn said.

Milburn scrambled for 33 yards to Dunbar's 37, setting up the winning play.

"We shifted everybody over to the left," he said, "and it left the middle wide open."

Poly broke on top late in the first quarter, when Jordan Garrison — normally a wide receiver — took the handoff on a misdirection, cut right and sprinted 44 yards to the end zone.

But Dunbar then rode McManus' legs to the lead.

Starting near midfield, the senior carried the ball four straight times. Running north and south, he powered his way to gains of 15, nine and 23 yards, then took a handoff nine yards up the middle for a touchdown. LaQuan Holt's two-point conversion run put Dunbar ahead, 8-6, with 6:55 left in the half.

No. 7 Poly 18, No. 6 Dunbar 14

D  8 0 6 0 -- 14

P  6 0 0 12 -- 18

P-Garrison 44 run (pass failed)

D-McManus 9 run (Holt run)

D-McManus 2 run (run failed)

P-Chappell 5 run (run failed)

P-Milburn 37 run (run failed)

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.