The Dunbar defense shut down Forest Park and the Poets took advantage of starting several drives with great field position to win their seventh straight region title.
Evan Pittman threw two touchdown passes, and No. 8 Dunbar limited Forest Park to only three first downs and 88 total yards of offense en route to a 20-0 victory in the Class 1A North Region championship game Saturday at Poly.
Dunbar (11-1) will play at Catoctin in a state semifinal Friday night. The Poets have won three straight state titles and four in the past five years.
"The defense played great," Pittman said. "Everyone played great today. It feels good, but we can't get complacent until we get to M&T; [Bank Stadium for the state title game]."
The Dunbar starting defensive line of Christopher Robinson, Joshua Alaeze, Devin Clark and Darian Scott smothered the Foresters (11-1), who couldn't establish much of a running game and got 39 of their 88 yards on one play.
Forest Park helped the Poets with a costly turnover and several short punts. Dunbar's three touchdown drives totaled just 84 yards.
"When you get a short field like that ... you can do a good job," Dunbar coach Lawrence Smith said. "We can mix a lot of things up."
The Poets, who like to run, shook up some things by throwing at the right times. A short punt gave Dunbar the ball at the Forest Park 26 late in the first quarter, and Pittman threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Deontay McManus (two interceptions) two plays later. Nathan Ayers (96 rushing yards) ran for the conversion.
After another short kick, Pittman threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Robinson to make it 14-0 in the third quarter. Quinton Brown then gave the Poets the ball at the Forest Park 9-yard line after his 42-yard interception return. Ayers ran for a 7-yard touchdown two plays later for a 20-0 lead with 2:21 left in that quarter.
D 0 8 12 0 - 20 F 0 0 0 0 - 0
D-McManus 17 pass from Pittman (Ayers run)
D- Robinson 9 pass from Pittman (run failed)
D-Ayers 7 run (run failed)