Weekend football report: D.C. and privates

By Alan Goldenbach and Josh Barr
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, September 13, 2010; 3:49 PM

Dunbar senior running back Vernard Roberts has been ruled ineligible for the season after it was determined he had already played four seasons of high school football.

Roberts, who along with his twin brother Vance, have unofficially committed to sign with West Virginia, had not been practicing with the Crimson Tide while his case was being investigated. A protest to Roberts' eligibility was lodged by an outside party during the preseason. It was determined that Roberts played for Gonzaga's freshman team in 2006, and the three subsequent years on Dunbar's varsity.

Although DCPS Athletic Director Marcus Ellis has proposed a rule change limiting DCPS students four consecutive years upo

n entering ninth grade to complete their athletic eligibility, the rule still on the books for this school year allows students five years to complete four season. This fall, however, would have been Roberts' fifth high school season.

"It was proven that he had already played football for four years," Ellis said. "I wanted the rule to work for him, but it didn't."

Dunbar Coach Craig Jefferies, who had used Vernard Roberts on the Crimson Tide's passing-league teams during the summer, said his absence from the team has already had an impact on the offense, including last Friday's 21-6 home loss to Calvert Hall.

Even though junior Curlee Walker has stepped in admirably, rushing for 297 yards and three touchdowns and catching nine passes for 155 yards and another score, Roberts is a talent that isn't easy to replace.

"He's a Division-I running back," Jefferies said, "so, of curse, that hurts. We just can't get a lot going right now."

Around the area

Coolidge is still looking for its first victory under new coach Natalie Randolph. The Colts lost Saturday at Parkersburg (W. Va.) South, 28-6. Coolidge was assessed 26 penalties for more than 200 yards. The Colts host Ballou on Friday. ... DeMatha Coach Bill McGregor reports that standout running back Delonte Morton sustained a sprained ankle in the top-ranked Stags' 35-32 victory over Friendship Collegiate on Saturday. X-rays were negative, McGregor said, though he expects the senior will miss at least Saturday's game against Gilman of Baltimore "He's a heck of a player and you hate not to have everybody with us," McGregor said of the 6-foot-1, 249-pound Maryland recruit. "But it is what it is. We have good backs and other guys will have to step up like they did the other day.". . .

A pair of Interstate Athletic Conference quarterbacks made successful first starts in victories over Washington Catholic Athletic Conference opponents. John Lynn rushed for 60 yards and one touchdown and passed for 68 yards with a 26-yard touchdown pass to Luke Howard as Landon beat McNamara, 17-12. Will Strother threw two touchdown passes and rushed for two more scores as St. Albans beat O'Connell, 31-14. Only two WCAC teams remain undefeated and one might be a surprise: top-ranked DeMatha and Carroll, which beat St. Mary's Ryken, 50-6.

goldenbacha@washpost.com barrj@washpost.com

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