April 26, 2018

Dunbar shuts out Fort Hill in the second half to take Class 1A crown

Dunbar receiver Desmond Jackson takes a reception 63 yards to the end zone in the Poets' 30-26 win over Fort Hill in the Class 1A title game on Saturday afternoon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Austin McFadden/MSA.

ANNAPOLIS — After giving up 26 points in the first half, Dunbar shut down Fort Hill in the second half to claim the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association Class 1A state title at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon, 30-26. 

It’s the school’s 10th football state title and first since 2012. Quarterback Jared Lewis went 7-for-17 for 252 yards and three touchdowns through the air. Raekwon Walker totaled 88 yards and a touchdown on four receptions. Dunbar outgained Fort Hill in total yardage, 429-245. 

In its first five plays from scrimmage, Dunbar put up 16 points. Andre Brandon followed his blockers down the right sideline for a 68-yard opening salvo, and after Lewis found Demond Jackson in the back corner of the end zone for the two-point conversion, it was 8-0. On the second touchdown, Demond Jackson took a short pass 63 yards to the house, breaking a bevvy of tackles in the process for a 16-8 Poets lead.

Fort Hill responded on both of Dunbar’s scores. The Sentinels put together an eight-play, 68-yard drive that was capped by a 21-yard touchdown pass from Logan Johnson to Brayden Poling. On the second, Poling ended a 12-play, 77-yard drive with a 17-yard scamper to make it 16-16 at the 11:54 mark in the second quarter.

The Sentinels forced a Dunbar 3-and-out on the following possession and took advantage of prime field position, starting at the Poets 25-yard line, when Banks muscled into the end zone from four yards out. That score made it 23-6, Fort Hill, with 8:16 left in the second quarter, and would be the last time the Sentinels crossed the plane for the day.

Dunbar responded with a 5-play, 80-yard drive when Lewis launched a 60-yard scoring pass to Walker. Lewis fell short on the two-point conversion, and Fort Hill maintained a 23-22 lead with 6:45 left in the second quarter.

Danny King knocked through a 47-yard field goal with 46 seconds before the intermission to pad Fort Hill’s lead, 26-22.

From there, the Poets stifled the Fort Hill offense, holding the Sentinels to 52 total yards in the second half. Ryan Wood produced the go-ahead touchdown when he took a screen pass from Lewis and raced 87 yards to the end zone. The score gave the Poets a four-point lead it wouldn’t relinquish with 2:47 left in the third quarter.

This story will be updated. 

About Kyle McFadden 416 Articles
Kyle McFadden is a graduate from Linganore High School's Class of 2014, a sports junkie and general news-hound. He got his start as a sports writer in January 2014 for Linganore's student-run newspaper The Lance, where he wrote 13 articles. McFadden then launched his own blog in October 2014 called The Beltway Dispatch covering collegiate, local high school and professional sports. Formally known as The Beltway Dispatch, McFadden and Evan Engelhard merged respective platforms in June 2015 to make what is now Maryland Sports Access. With baseball, basketball and golf experience, McFadden brings ample knowledge to the helm of MSA. McFadden covers a wide variety of sports in football, baseball, basketball, golf, hockey, lacrosse, soccer and specializes in the collegiate and high school levels. McFadden volunteers his time at Damascus Road Community Church -- serving as a mentor to the youth, basketball coach at the varsity and junior varsity levels, and leads a small group of high school sophomores every Wednesday night. Although he's only been around journalism since January 2014, he's a high school sports reporter for The Baltimore Sun and freelancer for The Frederick News-Post. McFadden's work has also appeared in DMV newspapers The Aegis, The Capital Gazette, The Daily Times (Delmarva Now), The Hometown Observer, Howard County Times, Germantown Pulse and The Towson Times. He's also won two Mike Powell Excellence in Journalism awards and has appeared on The Best of SNO, which showcases top student work of high school and college journalists. McFadden currently studies at Frederick Community College and plans to transfer to the University of Maryland in the fall of 2018 to work on a bachelor's degree in journalism with aspirations to be a national college basketball writer.
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