The Dunbar football team is loaded with talented skill players on both sides of the ball and has piled up touchdowns in all three phases of the game while outscoring opponents 144-8 during a 4-0 start.
Yet the Crimson Tide’s most athletic player may be at left tackle, in 6-foot-4, 265-pound Darius Brown. The senior lineman made a strong case for this claim during one particular play in last week’s 27-0 win over Ballou. On a third-down screen call, Brown leapt out of his stance and chipped a lineman before running straight at the Knights secondary, where he pancaked a Ballou safety who was trying to maneuver around him. The play ended in a 51-yard touchdown after Crimson Tide running back Malonta Patterson caught the short screen and found a seam down the left sideline.
“It felt good shutting out Ballou. There were too many thing’s going on in my mind, like, okay, we gotta prove another statement,” Brown said. “And it just felt good to go out there and do what we had to do.”
Brown has played in three Turkey Bowls with the Crimson Tide, and in a current DCIAA landscape where transferring is prevalent, he said he’s proud to have stayed at one school during his four years. He said he had a chance to transfer during his sophomore season, but decided to stay “because I was more comfortable at Dunbar,” and be “dedicated” to the school.
That loyalty has paid off in a solid three-year career for Brown, but his fourth year may end up being his best. He was dominant against a talented Ballou pass rush, giving up no sacks. And he has been one of the key ingredients to a breakout season for Patterson, who rushed for 167 yards and scored two touchdowns last week. Patterson has already rushed for 499 yards this season with seven touchdowns, and much of that is attributed to the left side strength of Brown.
Brown is still looking to amp up interest on the recruiting trail. He visited Towson’s camp this summer, and the Tigers have inquired about him. He also has interest from Toledo (as do Crimson Tide wide receivers James Duff and Delonte Matthews). He is waiting to take his SAT this fall, which, coupled with his play on the field, he said, will bring him more college opportunities.
“Last year I was still learning, trying to put the pieces together in the puzzle,” he said of his life at Dunbar. “Now everything is just coming together.”
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