Darren Holbrook leads Ballou past Dunbar
Friday, September 24, 2010; 11:28 PM
Dunbar was trying to make it closer in the final seconds and threw a fade pattern to the end zone. As Ballou defensive back Darren Holbrook defended the pass, which fell incomplete, he hit the ground, flipped off his helmet and writhed in pain. Several Knights on the sideline yelled, "Oh no, it's his knee."
Holbrook initially thought so, too.
"And then I was realized it wasn't," Holbrook said, "and I said, 'Thank Jesus, it's just a cramp.' "
There are more well-known stars on the 20th-ranked Knights, such as linemen Jamar Lewter and Lamonte Clark, both top-tier recruits, and three-year starting quarterback Delonte Edwards. The 5-foot-7 Holbrook, though, may be the one player Ballou can't live without.
Holbrook rushed a career-high 23 times for 190 yards and two touchdowns, displaying a shiftiness between the tackles to find the holes and breakaway speed to get past the secondary in the open field. He has 688 yards on the season for the undefeated Knights (4-0).
"I've got to feed my running backs," said Lewter, who buys Holbrook breakfast each Friday morning, "so that they got the energy to go at game time."
Holbrook had runs of 15 and 19 yards on the game's opening drive, which ended with Edwards finding Dontray Crawford on a 13-yard touchdown pass on fourth and 5. The extra-point failed, and Ballou was up, 6-0.
Dunbar, which struggled to move the ball, had its best drive late in the first half - a 12-play march capped by a 12-yard scoring pass from Lamel Matthews to Maxie Stevens at the back of the end zone to put Dunbar ahead, 7-6, a minute before halftime.
Early in the third quarter, Dunbar punted from deep in its own end, but the kick hit a lineman. Ballou took over at the 15, and Holbrook, running behind Lewter, scored easily on the next play to make it 12-7.
Early in the fourth quarter, facing third and 9 at the Ballou 33, Holbrook sliced behind Lewter again for a 43-yard run. He gained 23 on the next play, and two plays later took it in from two yards out to cap the scoring.
"When you've got two D-I tackles in front of you," Holbrook said, "you should have 200 yards every game."
With just over six minutes left, Dunbar tried to find the 6-foot-5 Stevens on a fade to the right corner, but Holbrook, who stands 10 inches shorter, leapt and snagged the pass for an interception to seal the victory.