One of the big reasons Douglass has gotten off to a 2-1 start as it entered play yesterday against No. 13 Dunbar was its ability to overcome mistakes. Another was overcoming its inexperience key moments.
But both caught up with the Ducks yesterday.
Crucial errors by the Ducks in the second half and Dunbar's ability to capitalize equaled a 26-8 victory by the visiting Poets in a City-Wide intra-division game.
Three of Douglass' six turnovers resulted in three touchdowns by the Poets (3-1), rebounding from last week's 12-6 loss to No. 2 Poly.
"Any time a team can't score an offensive touchdown except by the mistakes that we made, I think they're a good team," Douglass coach John Nash said. "They are a smart team . . . an opportunistic team, and I enjoyed that a whole lot."
What Nash didn't enjoy were the mental mistakes his team made.
Late in the third quarter, the Poets were holding a 12-8 advantage and Douglass stopped them on downs at the Ducks' 11. Two plays later, Douglass quarterback Jeremy Turlington was intercepted by Terrence Hinton on a short pass across the middle intended for Felix Jones. Johnny Sawyer went straight up the middle for a 5-yard score, completing a three-play, 9-yard drive, extending Dunbar's lead to 18-8 with 26 seconds left in the quarter.
On the Ducks' next possession, they fumbled on first down. The next play, Qasim Kabah fumbled an option pitch from Turlington, and Sawyer picked it up and ran 9 yards untouched into the end zone. Anthon Wiggins' two-point conversion pass to Dante Jones made it 26-8 with 11:09 remaining.
"Douglass played an outstanding game," Dunbar coach Stanley
Mitchell said. "We knew they had outstanding athletes at all the key positions. But we still didn't play the ball that we're capable of. When we get one thing settled, another thing breaks down, but we're trying."
The breakdown for the Poets was their offense, which gained 125 yards, but had three turnovers in the second half and five overall.
But Dunbar's defense was there to pick up for the offense. It was without second-team All-City linebacker Tommy Polley, who was out with a groin pull, and it gave up 194 yards. But it made big
plays when they were needed.
In the second quarter, Douglass was at the Poets' 27, thanks in part to a 59-yard pass from Turlington to Craig Smith. On second-and-10, a pass by Turlington for Sam Womack in traffic was tipped by Jones into the arms of senior safety Sean Lipscomb, who broke free and sprinted 77 yards down the right sidelines for a touchdown, giving Dunbar a 12-0 lead with 3:27 remaining in the first half.
The Poets' offense got the early jump, taking the opening kickoff and driving 69 yards in nine plays, capped by a 3-yard run by Sawyer.