East Baltimore bragging rights are always on the line when Dunbar and Patterson play, and the Poets have a lot of talking to do after yesterday.
After three years of surrendering the neighborhood strut, Dunbar came back with a vengeance, dominating the fifth-ranked Clippers, 30-0, at Patterson. It was a showdown of unbeatens in the Maryland Scholastic Association B Conference, and the unrated and underrated Poets (5-0, 3-0) responded with their third straight shutout.
The game was every bit as lopsided as the score indicated. Patterson (4-1, 2-1), a team that rolled to a 79-6 win over Milford Mill earlier, self-destructed on offense.
The Clippers lost three fumbles, were intercepted three times (one for a touchdown), missed a field-goal try and lost another promising drive to a sack.
"We really were struggling," said Patterson coach Roger Wrenn. "We're known as a team that scores a lot and has the ability to do a lot with our offense.
"But they played terrific defense."
Said Poets senior lineman Vashawn Ragsdale: "Their time was up. They beat us in the past three years, but this time we're going all the way."
Dunbar drove inside the Patterson 5 on the game's first series, only to be stopped on downs. But five plays later, the Poets' Sean Lipscombe intercepted Clippers quarterback Willie McGirt's pass in the flat and raced 24 yards to a touchdown.
Things only got worse for the Clippers.
They had a chance to stay in the game but Ronnie Green missed a 26-yard field-goal attempt. Later McGirt was intercepted in the end zone by Omar Parker.
"He's a sophomore quarterback," Wrenn said of McGirt. "And he played like one. But he's a talented kid and he'll have his day."
The Poets used only one pass -- for 5 yards -- during an 80-yard drive to their second touchdown with 1:11 remaining in the half. And they weren't done.
McGirt fumbled on a keeper and Poet defensive end William Brady snatched the ball in mid-air and raced 17 yards for a touchdown on the last play of the half to give Dunbar an 18-0 lead.
The second half was more of the same. On their first three possessions, the Clippers relinquished the ball on two fumbles and aninterception, two inside their own 30.
"The credit should go to [Dunbar coach] Pete Pompey," said Wrenn. "He had them fired up and ready to go. They beat us in every aspect of the game. I don't think our kids were intimidated, but maybe they were distracted."
"It was important to the kids that they hadn't beaten them in
three years," said Pompey. "There was a sense of pride involved."
"This was way [past] due," said Poet lineman Keith Washington. "We were hungry. I just knew it was going to be a blowout."