Speed, speed and more speed.
That’s the best way to describe Dunbar’s defense. With Poets flying to the ball on every play, it’s tough for opposing teams to move the chains on this group. Last Saturday, while defeating City College 18-6, Dunbar surrendered only 56 total yards for the entire game. They only gave up one first down in 48 minutes.And to think, some of the players weren’t happy with the performance.
“They should have had less yards and I’m not pleased with how we played,” senior linebacker/running back Lavar Highsmith said.
A lot of teams desire that kind of defensive output. For the whole game City’s Black Knights were unable to sustain drives against a suffocating Dunbar bunch. Cornerback Aaron Haynes, who plays receiver on offense, picked off two passes, returning one for a touchdown.
Even Haynes said the defense could have performed better.
“We feel when we come out on defense we shouldn’t give up any points,” Haynes said. “Our goal was no first downs. We didn’t get that but we still shut them out.”
City College scored its only points on defense—an interception it returned for a touchdown. That was the only way the Black Knights were going to score because nothing worked for them offensively.
In addition to Haynes’ stellar defensive effort, on offense he caught a pass from sophomore quarterback William Crest that he ran in for a 39-yard touchdown.
Dunbar head coach Lawrence Smith said his defense’s performance was “lights out.” However, he said much was left to be desired on offense. The Poets turned the ball over five times and wasn’t able to sustain a rhythm in the passing game.
“Our offense will be around as always, but we know we’re going to be in every game because our defense will be able to stick it to anybody,” Smith said.
Highsmith led the way in the Dunbar rushing attack, accounting for 95 yards and a touchdown. On defense, Highsmith, playing linebacker, was in on just about every City College running play.
“He’s a shutdown player and he’s hard to block because he’s so fast and so strong,” Smith said. “That’s why so many schools want his services at the next level.”
Both Haynes and Highsmith have been on some stout Dunbar defenses in their four years with the Poets. But neither could say whether this one is the best.
“We’re fast, we get to the ball,” Highsmith said. “It’s just not one person attacking the ball. This defense this year stands very high in the past four years I’ve been here. I don’t know if it’s the best but it’s up there.”
by Jason Butt