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Preview: Turkey Bowl

By — James Wagner,

42nd Turkey Bowl

What: Dunbar vs. Coolidge in the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association football championship.

When: Thursday, 11 a.m.

Where: Eastern High School, 17th and East Capitol streets NE.

Tickets: General admission $10, students and senior citizens $8.

TV: Tape delay on The Comcast Network (TCN) on Friday at 7 p.m.

What to watch for: Coolidge (8-2) fields the DCIAA’s highest scoring offense behind senior quarterback Femi Bamiro (1,270 passing yards and 17 touchdowns), who won the starting job late in the season, and talented senior wide receivers Fellonte Misher and Dayon Pratt (a combined 1,007 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns). Senior Calvin Brown leads the Colts with seven interceptions. Coolidge, which has won five Turkey Bowls, is making its ninth appearance in the game; the last time was in 2005 and the last victory was in 1986.

Dunbar (8-3) has the DCIAA’s most prolific backfield in senior Olu Izegwire (1,447 total yards and 18 touchdowns) and senior Curlee Walker (1,121 total yards and 18 touchdowns). The Crimson Tide also feature a three-year starter at quarterback in junior Lamel Matthews (733 passing yards and 12 touchdowns in six games) and capable wide receivers in Daniel Nwosu, Maxie Stevens and Delonte Matthews (a combined 969 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns). Dunbar is making its 19th appearance in the Turkey Bowl. The Crimson Tide has won nine titles overall, eight in the past 13 years.

Skinny: The last time both DCIAA West rivals met — in a thrilling season finale that Dunbar won in overtime, 43-42, on a two-point conversion — neither team could stop one facet of the other’s offense. Coolidge was successful through the air and Dunbar on the ground. Stopping those on Thursday will be key for both teams.

— James Wagner

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