PHOTOS by Jimmy Fields Sr.

After a season-opening loss to MIAA powerhouse Gilman School, Dunbar traveled perennial MIAA B contender Boys’ Latin School Friday afternoon looking to gain some respect for city football and rejuvenated its postseason hopes. Thee Poets accomplished both goals, taking care of business defensively in a 12-3 decision over the 18th-ranked Lakers at J. Duncan Smith Field.

“This was a team win,”Dunbar coach Lawrence Smith said. The offense was struggling early and the defense stepped up and did what they had to do to close the game out.”

Da’Shawn Darien rushed 26 times for 103 yards and junior quarterback Jared Lewis threw for a score and ran for another for Dunbar (3-2 overall). Sam Grace’s 20-yard field goal accounted for Boys’ Latin’s points. 

The Poets turned to Darien, who constantly gained extra yards after first contact in the second half after being shutout in the first 24 minutes. The senior back accounted for 34 yards in Dunbar’s first scoring drive that ended with a 40-yard touchdown pass from Lewis to Melvin Curbeam.

Lewis’ 13-yard bootleg run for a score in the fourth put the east Baltimore school up 12-3. With Lakers’ defense focused on Darien on a 3rd-and-8, Lewis had a clear path to the end zone.

“We wanted to start wearing them down and get our o-line rolling, and do what we needed to do,” said Smith about using the ground game more in the second half.

The Poets moved the ball on the first possession of the game, but illegal formation penalty negated a touchdown. The Orleans Street school went backwards with penalties, leaving them with a 4th-and-36. The Lakers (3-2) moved the ball on the ensuing possession, but Grace missed from 40 yards out.

Greg Ey intercepted a Lewis pass and returned the ball to Dunbar’s 29. Boys’ Latin got the Poets’ 1-yard line, but Dunbar’s defense tightened and Boys’ Latin settled for a Grace field goal.

The Lakers struggled to find an offensive rhythm, using three different quarterbacks. Brenden Crouse started the game, and had success moving the ball down the field. When the Lakers entered the red zone for the first time, they switched to Josh Knox, who later left the game with a shoulder injury. They used all-purpose athlete Desmond Banks at quarterback on their final two possessions.

Boys’ Latin returns to MIAA B play next Friday at defending champ John Carroll School. Dunbar welcomes Edmondson at Sugar Cain Field in a Baltimore City Division I contest and the 9th annual Ben Eaton Memorial game. 

Dunbar 12, No. 18 Boys Latin School 3

Dunbar 0 0 6 6 – 12 

Boys Latin 0 3 0 0 – 3

Second quarter

BL – Grace 20 field goal

Third quarter
Dunbar – Curbeam 40 pass from Lewis (kick failed)

Fourth quarter

Dunbar – Lewis 13 run (run failed)