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DCSAA football championship preview: Friendship Collegiate vs. Dunbar

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Friendship Collegiate vs. Dunbar

What: DCSAA championship

When: 2 p.m.

Where: Greene Stadium, Howard University

Tickets: $10 ($5 for students)

How they got here: Dunbar(9-2) defeated Anacostia 12-8 in the Turkey Bowl on Thanksgiving Day in what was just the Crimson Tide’s second game in four weeks. Friendship Collegiate (7-3) snapped a three-game losing streak with a 51-0 win over KIPP in last week’s DCSAA semifinal.

When Friendship Collegiate has the ball: Anchored by Maryland commit Derwin Gray, the Knights boast one of the city’s best offensive lines, and quarterback Brian White had his best game of the season last week against KIPP, throwing for 136 yards and three touchdowns. That spells trouble for Dunbar’s defense, which struggled last week against Anacostia quarterback DeQuan Turner (160 yards passing, 66 yards rushing).

When Dunbar has the ball: The Crimson Tide have a four-year starter at quarterback in Lamel Matthews, who was named the offensive MVP of the Turkey Bowl after accounting for 224 yards of total offense. Dunbar operates out of a shotgun-spread offense, and while Matthews has been efficient this season (only three interceptions), Dunbar is at its best when running back Malont’a Patterson is productive (853 yards, nine touchdowns).

The skinny: Dunbar has enough talent on its defensive line (led by tackle Maurice Glasgow) to hang with Friendship Collegiate’s front. Stopping the Knights’ most productive running back in Jonathan Haden will be key for the Crimson Tide, who must protect Matthews against a defense littered with Football Bowl Subdivision prospects, including linebackers Yannick Ngakoua and Cavon Walker.

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