Football: Defensive Player of the Year

Every offense that faced No. 1 Calvert Hall this fall had to account for one man first — Yarborough.

His ability to dominate the line of scrimmage in the area's toughest league, the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference, makes Yarborough The Baltimore Sun's Defensive Player of the Year. At 5feet 10, 300pounds, he could push a couple of big offensive linemen around.

"Nobody can block him. He's strong as an ox," Cardinals coach Donald Davis said.

Everything the A Conference champions did on defense went through Yarborough, who finished with 92 tackles (43 solo), three sacks and a forced fumble.

"He's a difference-maker because you have to account for him on every play," Loyola coach Brian Abbott said. "You have to block him on every play or he's going to make you pay. He's also a kid with a great motor, and he plays with great intensity. He's a good technician."

Yarborough, a second-team All-Metro selection last season, was the cornerstone of a Cardinals defense that gave up just 10.4 points per game and held six opponents to seven points or fewer.

One of his best games was the 26-21 victory over No. 2 Gilman in early October — a game the Cardinals trailed 21-7 early in the fourth quarter and that ultimately decided the A Conference championship. Yarborough played the pivotal role in the second-half turnaround.

Yarborough is drawing looks from Football Championship Subdivision programs, including Howard, and will play in the Baltimore Touchdown Club All-Star Game on Saturday at Archbishop Spalding and in the Crab Bowl on Dec. 18 at Bowie State.

"He's as passionate a football player as I've ever coached," Davis said. "He loves the game. He loves his teammates. This is a kid who really, truly loves going at it every day."

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