Alan Carr scored his 12th touchdown of the season from 6 yards out in the second period, and the Lake Clifton defense made it stand up for a 6-0 upset victory over visiting 12th-ranked Dunbar yesterday in a battle of playoff-seeking Baltimore City East Division teams.
The win was the Lakers' (6-2, 3-1) fifth straight, their fourth via shutout, and snapped a four-game winning streak for the Poets (6-2, 3-1).
Dunbar was coming off a 36-32 upset victory last week over then-No. 7 Patterson (6-1, 3-1), ending a 16-game winning streak against city opponents for the defending league champions.
The Poets averaged 30 points entering the game yesterday, but ran into a Lake Clifton defense that has allowed only 40 points (or five points a game) this season.
The Lakers can secure at least a share of the city league title, along with a Class 4A playoff berth, with wins in their remaining two games, which includes a season finale against Patterson.
There was as much defensive action yesterday as their was offensive in last week's high-scoring affair between Dunbar and Patterson.
Dunbar's defense, led by Darry Dorsey with an interception and a fumble recovery, thwarted Lake Clifton's offense at the Poets' 24 and 7 in the first half. The Poets also stopped the Lakers' Robert Warren on fourth-and-one at Dunbar's 5 late in the third quarter.
But it was Lake Clifton's defense that stood tallest, led by 6-foot, 240-pound Division I linebacker prospect Clifton Bowers (15 tackles) and nose guard Rashad Barrett (seven tackles). Defensive back Greg Jones had 10 solo tackles and two fumble recoveries, and Rick Burton, a fumble recovery and an interception.
Carr, whose uncle, Dahnel Singfield (now at the University of Buffalo) played on one of the Poets' two state championship teams in 1995, capped a four-play, 15-yard scoring drive with his off-tackle sprint with 6: 48 left in the half.
The drive was aided by a 15-yard face-mask penalty during a return by Jones after a Dunbar punt.
"I thought at halftime that it would take more than six points to beat them, that we'd really have to put some numbers up," Jones said. "They're a good team, and this is a great rivalry, but when it came down to it, we just dug in and stood tall. Especially Julius Jones sticking with their go-to guy, No. 1 [Dorsey]."
Lakers defensive coordinator Dewayne Washington credited the man-to-man defense of cornerback Julius Jones for collaring Dorsey, who entered the game with 14 all-purpose touchdowns -- six via the pass. Dorsey had one reception for a yard.
Dunbar coach Ben Eaton credited the Lakers' defense and the preparation of Lake Clifton coach James Monroe.
He also said an impromptu administrative meeting between city athletic directors delayed his ability to "get with his team" until only a couple of hours before their bus was scheduled to leave for Lake Clifton.
"We prepared well for them during the week, but our kids didn't get together long enough before the game," Eaton said. "You could see the intensity in their kids, but ours just wasn't there. We may have left some of that in the Patterson game."
Dunbar's Donnell Baylor, who averaged 111 yards entering the game, had a game-high 94 of the Poets' 118 total yards of offense.