The Paul Laurence Dunbar High School Poets edged by the Frederick Douglass High School Mighty Ducks, 8-6, in a Baltimore City Division I football game on Friday Oct. 12 at Douglass high school in Baltimore, Md.
The win boosted Dunbar’s overall record to 5-1 and 5-0 against Baltimore City opponents, securing their No. 1 position in the city standings for at least another week.
Meanwhile Douglass dropped to 4-3 overall, 4-2 vs. city opponents; they’re ranked No. 3 in the Baltimore City Division I standings.
The Poets beat Douglass in the same fashion they’ve won most of their games this season: with stout, aggressive defense. Douglass could hardly move the ball at all against Dunbar in the second half, but Dunbar’s offense had struggles of its own early in the game so the score was tied at zero at halftime.
The Poets managed to put together a scoring drive in the third quarter as junior quarterback William Crest sneaked into the end zone on a QB dive, giving Dunbar an 8-0 lead.
But Douglass surprisingly responded with their own scoring drive for a touchdown; they didn’t convert on the two-point try so Dunbar still led, 8-6.
Dunbar wouldn’t score again in the game but their defense made sure the 8-6 lead was enough for the win as they forced two costly turnovers on Douglass late in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
After the game, Dunbar head coach Lawrence Smith said he wasn’t satisfied with how his team played even though they pulled out the tight victory.
“We have to do some real self-evaluating because the way we’re approaching these games [isn’t] good enough to meet the standards that we set for ourselves,” Smith said. “At the end of it all, a win is a win, but we have to come harder and realize that every opponent is bringing their A game against us so we have to bring our A game every week.”
Dunbar will take on Poly Western (2-3 overall) next on Oct. 19; last season, Poly beat Dunbar in an upset. Coach Smith said this season Dunbar will get its payback.
“We need to get it together right now because we owe Poly,” Smith said, “We owe Poly something real nice.”