Although his team trailed Gilman by two touchdowns late in the fourth quarter, Dunbar coach Ben Eaton still had something to hold over Ben Jr.'s head.
Not only had his son been held to fewer than 20 yards as a running back for the visiting Greyhounds, but he also hadn't come near the end zone.
That changed with four minutes to play. The younger Eaton found a hole off tackle on the right side and raced untouched 80 yards past several Dunbar defenders. His effort put the finishing touch on a season-opening, 28-14 Gilman win, earning him bragging rights last night at the dinner table.
"Getting the win would have been all right, but scoring the touchdown makes it sweeter," said Ben Eaton Jr., a 6-foot, 215-pound sophomore who rushed for a team-high 97 yards. "It was a tough game. There was some talking back and forth with their players. Somebody had to lose. I'm just glad it wasn't me."
Down 6-0 early, the No. 5 Greyhounds (1-0), a local private school power, used a punishing running game to score 28 unanswered points and generate 222 rushing yards.
Junior quarterback Marco Simmons scored three 1-yard touchdowns, and running backs Sean Price, David Johnson and Bill Knight combined for 125 yards.
"We're big and we have size, and what we do best is run between the tackles," said Ryan Summers, 6-4, 310 pounds, who blocked effectively alongside Justin Wiley, Andrew Pyke, Dave Jablonski, Ryan Summers, T.J. Palmer and Reggie Fugett.
"We must have had 200 yards just between the tackles," Simmons said. "It was all the running backs on slices and weaves."
Penalties and turnovers cost the 11th-ranked Poets (0-1) of Baltimore City's Division I public school league, who often drove deep into Greyhounds territory. Dunbar was still in the game until Eaton's touchdown run, followed by Luke Bell's fourth extra-point kick, made it 28-6.
Poets quarterback Marcus Taylor was 7-for-15 for 182 yards, and completed scoring passes of 70 and 18 yards, respectively, to Darron Edwards and All-Metro player Nathan Irby.
Pyke led Gilman's defense with a sack and a fumble recovery. Wiley, Johnson and Shawn Maczka also recovered fumbles. Gilman's Justin Gayles and Jason Madison had interceptions.
"We gave them too many turnovers, too many interceptions and fumbles," said Dunbar's Irby, who also caught a two-point conversion pass from Taylor. "We really gave them the three touchdowns on a 15-yard facemask, a roughing the quarterback and a late hit. Take those away and it's an even game."