Dunbar football coach Lawrence Smith was named the Ravens High School Coach of the Week after guiding the No. 9 Poets to a 42-18 win at Edmondson for the Ben Eaton Memorial Trophy on Friday afternoon.
The Poets (7-1) claimed the Eaton Trophy for the third straight time in the rivalry game after breaking a 6-6 halftime tie with 22 consecutive points. Alfonzo Graham scored all three touchdowns — on a 15-yard run, a 70-yard interception return and a 60-yard run. Deon Crews-Harris, who recovered two fumbles and scored one touchdown, ran for two 2-point conversions during the run.
“At halftime, we talked through some fixes and settled the guys down, and our team came out and executed in the second half to get the win,” Smith said in a statement. “This team is special, because they play together and they don’t care who gets the credit — it’s a total team effort.”
With the win, the Poets improved to 6-0 in Baltimore City’s Division I and clinched at least a share of the division championship. They can win the title outright for the first time since 2014 with a victory over Patterson in Friday’s regular-season finale.
Smith, who earned his 100th career victory last season, has the Poets in first place in the Class 1A North region with the highest points average in Class 1A. A win over Patterson could ensure home-field advantage for the regional playoffs. Dunbar, which has won more state playoff games than any other program, is aiming for its 10th state championship and its 19th regional championship when the playoffs begin next week.
Each week of the regular season, the Ravens honor one high school football coach with a $2,000 donation to his school’s football program and an award from Ravens coach John Harbaugh. At the end of the season, the winners from each of the 10 weeks will be invited to the Ravens-Indianapolis Colts game Dec. 23 at M&T Bank Stadium, where one will be named the Ravens High School Coach of the Year.
Smith joins previous winners in contention for Coach of the Year honors: Francis Scott Key’s Josh Rutter, Milford Mill’s Reggie White, St. Frances’ Biff Poggi and Henry Russell, River Hill’s Brian Van Deusen, Harford Tech’s Tim Palmer, Towson’s Ryan Pittillo, Meade’s Albert Jones and Tuscarora’s Vince Ahearn.