On a cool and windy afternoon, pass completions were scarce, so Dunbar relied on rushing and defense to gain a 9-6 victory over visiting Cardozo in an Interhigh West game yesterday.
Dunbar safety Jermaine Clark made an interception with 20 seconds remaining, after Cardozo took possession at midfield. That allowed the Crimson Tide (5-4, 2-1) to hold on for their first victory in six years against the Clerks.
Dunbar led by 9-0 at the start of the fourth quarter.
"The defense played particularly strong today. They made some good plays at crucial times," Dunbar Coach John Nunn said.
Dunbar scored first on a 22-yard field goal by Milton Mooya with 7:45 remaining in the first half.
The Crimson Tide increased the lead to 9-0 on a 30-yard touchdown run by junior running back Keith Brown with 2:50 left in the third quarter. The two-point conversion pass failed.
Because of the crosswinds, Dunbar ran the ball, and was effective. Running back Yazid Lewis had 22 carries for 150 yards and Brown had three for 44. The running game gave the Crimson Tide an advantage in time of possession.
Cardozo (5-4, 1-2) cut the lead to 9-6, thanks to a 25-yard touchdown catch by senior wide receiver Edward William. On an off-balance throw by junior quarterback Jermanie Gregory (who transferred from Dunbar last year), William leaped over two defenders and caught the ball in the end zone.
The wind blew the extra point attempt wide, and Dunbar led by three points with 7:48 left.
Dunbar had a chance to increase its lead, but Cardozo defensive lineman Dialo Hall blocked a field goal attempt with 3:17 left.
The Clerks had another chance, but passes by Gregory (five for 15 for 126 yards, two interceptions) were affected by the wind and fell incomplete. Cardozo lost the ball on downs.
After a Dunbar turnover with 36 seconds to play, Cardozo had one more chance, but Clark intercepted Gregory's pass on first down.
"We had opportunities to score . . . but we did not move the ball, and penalties hurt us," said Cardozo Coach Robert Richard.