The last time the Dunbar Crimson Tide met up with the Coolidge Colts, big plays came in bunches, overtime ensued, a two-point conversion decided the outcome and a 43-42 classic Dunbar victory was born. That late Friday night game on Nov. 4 might have been the best game of the season within the District of Columbia Interscholastic Athletic Association (DCIAA) so consider fans, students and football locals fortunate that the two schools will square off again for the second time this season in the DCIAA championship game, also known as the Turkey Bowl, on Thanksgiving Day.

Looking at Dunbar’s last four contests, excluding the Coolidge game, their clash with the Colts could be considered somewhat of a rarity. Behind a power running game and suffocating defense, the Tide have been relentless over the second half of their season, shutting out four of their last five opponents, excluding Coolidge of course. And the shut-outs haven’t exactly been of the 7-0 or 13-0 varieties either, it’s actually been much worse. Minus the Colts, Dunbar (8-3) has punished teams 198-0 since the middle of October for an average score of 49-0. So what was it about Coolidge that gave Dunbar such a hard time? For starters, Coolidge (8-2) hasn’t exactly been pushovers this season.

Behind female head coach Natalie Randolph, the Colts, like the Tide, have played every game of their own campaign like true powerhouses, taking no prisoners in the process. In their eight wins this season, Coolidge has bowled through opponents with an average score of 40-7, making the Randolph-led Colts a worthy adversary for any team. Laced with explosive playmakers, senior quarterback play and a solid defense, the Colts are destined to pose another hurdle for the streaking Tide.

Experience could play a role however as the Colts will be making their first Turkey Bowl trip since 2005 while the Tide will enter the title game for their second straight appearance. As long time DCIAA rivals, history is definitely deep between these two schools. It was Coolidge who snapped Dunbar’s league-record 41-straight regular season wins back in ’05 and it was Coolidge who trumped Dunbar again in the Turkey Bowl the same season. Although the players and coaches have changed since then, many of the alumnus and fans in the area still remember. Both schools are set to duke it out once again on Nov. 24 at 11 a.m., serving as a nice pre-Thanksgiving meal event for the holiday.

 

Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO