Dunbar's football team went into Friday night's game against Edmondson having shut out its first four Baltimore City opponents. The Red Storm ended that streak, but Dunbar's defense came up big in the final four minutes to keep the No. 8 Poets unbeaten in the city league.
Carlos Austin's fumble recovery led to the winning touchdown, and Wilbur Young's interception all but ended No. 14 Edmondson's hopes for an upset, securing a 13-8 comeback win at Poly's Lumsden-Scott Stadium. The Poets (5-1, 5-0 division) now have sole possession of first place in the city's Division I.
With the victory, the Poets also take the Ben Eaton Memorial Trophy for the sixth straight time. That's every year since the trophy was first awarded in 2007, the year Poets coach Eaton died suddenly just before the season began. Edmondson (5-1, 4-1) hasn't beaten the Poets since 2006, when the Red Storm went on to win the Class 2A state championship.
After Austin's fumble recovery set up the Poets on the Red Storm's 8-yard line, William Crest scored the game-winner on a 1-yard quarterback sneak with 2:29 left in the game. On Edmondson's second play of its next drive, Young picked off Tyjuan Eaton's pass with 2:12 to go.
Dunbar, which has won six of the last eight state Class 1A titles, had aimed to shut out every city opponent this season, but the Red Storm wasn't about to let that happen. The Poets still aim to shut out everybody else.
"This is going to drive us even more," Dunbar linebacker Marvin Gross said. "Edmondson will be the only team that scores on us in the city. That was just a goal for us. It happens. It's a football game. We bounced back and stopped them when we needed to."
Both teams struggled to get on the board early, but Dunbar struck first on Aaron Savage's 1-yard run with 5:15 left in the first half. While the Red Storm's defense gave the Poets trouble, the offense took a long time to get rolling.
On Edmondson's first drive of the fourth quarter, wide receiver Shawn Stewart finally ignited the Red Storm when he bobbled and then caught a 33-yard pass from Eaton. Four plays later, Hakeem Holland broke a 40-yard touchdown run. The senior running back then took the handoff from Eaton and threw the conversion pass to Quantaye Battle for an 8-7 edge over the Poets with 6:51 to go.
The Red Storm forced the Poets to punt when their next possession stalled near midfield, but the Poets still figured they had plenty of time when they took over again with 3:55 to go. After Austin's fumble recovery, Paki Brown and Jaquan Holt ran for short gains to get the Poets to 1-yard line, setting up Crest's touchdown.
"We didn't let [the Red Storm touchdown] rattle us," said Gross, who had a first-half interception. "We've been through it all and we know to come back when we need to come back. It showed our character out here. Nobody put their heads down or anything like that. We just played hard and came out with the win."
E 0 0 0 8 -- 8
D 0 7 0 6 – 13
D—Savage 1 run (Faloon kick)
E—Holland 40 run (Battle pass from Holland)
D—Crest 1 run (pass failed)