Sixth-ranked Dunbar showed up big on senior night, shutting out Patterson, 36-0, to close the football regular season.
The Poets defense generated three turnovers. Davonta Ayers scored on a 30-yard interception return and Dion Crews-Harris scooped up a fumble recovery for a 41-yard touchdown.
“It felt especially good for me tonight, considering it’s my Senior Night,” Crews-Harris said of his fumble recovery. “It felt good to go out on a good note on our last regular season home game.”
Crews-Harris also proved to be a dominant force on the ground, carrying defenders with him for extra yardage and accounting for six points on three two-point conversion attempts. His one-two punch with Jeremiah White’s 12-yard touchdown rush before the end of the first half gave the Poets a 24-0 lead.
“First I want to thank my offensive line, but it’s mainly about reading the hole,” Crews-Harris said. “We play man-on-man football, it’s just me making one man miss.
Sophomore quarterback Karon Moore had two touchdowns in the game. His first came on a pass to wide receiver Tyreek Sykes in the second quarter and his second on a one-yard rush in the third quarter.
“It was a good win for real,” Moore said. “We just have to keep building up — like our offense was kind of slow today. We have to keep working and keep going back to see who we had open. Their safeties were playing all of the way back, so we had all of the underneath open and we had to just catch the ball and score or get yards.”
Dunbar (8-1, 7-1) will head into the 1A state playoffs searching for their 11th state championship. Head coach Lawrence Smith is generally pleased with how his team played this season.
“We grew up, we were young,” Smith said. “You have to think — we had 13 seniors and we’re young. So, we grew up from the first game and we just kept getting better, kept getting better, kept getting better and we’re where we need to be right now.”
Patterson head coach Larry Mitchell would’ve liked to see more fire from his team against the Poets.
“I was disappointed in the effort that we gave today,” Mitchell said. “I thought we would give a better effort than we actually did today. We had some key players out today — last minute. It kind of hurt our preparation towards the game. Not to make any excuses, they’re a really great team. I think they’ll go long in the playoffs.”
The Clippers (5-4, 3-3) will get prepped to enter the playoffs as well and get their shot at redemption. Mitchell is confident in his group heading in.
“I like our chances in the playoffs,” said Mitchell. “We’re going to take these next two days and prepare for them. One of our goals we had when we were coming in was we have to be better than we were last year. So, now we finished the first season and we’re heading into the second season in the playoffs.
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“As far as matchups in the playoffs, a lot of times it comes down to matchups. The different matchups that we looked at or think that we can see, we like our chances.”