Dunbar senior Vontae Davis had played on offense only sparingly this season and, with his career waning, he wanted to touch the ball more often in yesterday's DCIAA semifinal against H.D. Woodson. Before the game, he asked coaches to make him part of the offensive game plan. "I basically begged them," he said.
He probably won't have to beg anymore.
Davis, usually a cornerback, scored a career-high four touchdowns -- three receiving, one rushing -- to help propel Dunbar (8-2) to a 49-28 win over H.D. Woodson (6-6) at Cardozo. In the other semifinal, Coolidge beat Ballou, 20-6, earning the Colts a Thanksgiving day date with Dunbar -- and Davis -- in the Turkey Bowl.
"I usually make my big plays on defense, but I knew I could do the same thing on offense," said Davis, who has seven interceptions this season. "I always think I'm the fastest player on the field. I'm super fast. Once I get going, nobody can stop me."
Davis got going early and often yesterday, which helped the Crimson Tide jump out to an early lead it never would relinquish. Davis entered the game hoping to score a touchdown, he said, but he walked off the field struggling to pick his favorite score. "There were a lot of good ones," he said.
How about the five-yard slant he turned into a 70-yard touchdown scamper in the second quarter? Or maybe the 15-yard diving catch in the end zone in the third quarter on which he barely planted his feet in bounds?
"I actually liked my handoff a lot," said Davis, referring to a 17-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. "They don't ever hand me the ball. I wanted to show them how I can do."
Said Dunbar Coach Craig Jefferies: "He's a playmaker, and we couldn't ignore putting the ball in his hands. He did some pretty great things. I guess the cat's out of the bag now on him."
Davis's highlights made him the biggest star in a game filled with them. Dunbar running back D'Angelo Martino ran for 121 yards and two touchdowns. Dunbar quarterback Nathan Bussey passed for 190 yards and ran for 68.
"The whole offense was working," Bussey said. "When I ran I had a lot of room, and they were open when I passed."
In a losing effort, H.D. Woodson quarterback and Illinois recruit Edward McGee racked up almost 350 yards of total offense. McGee, a senior, ran 13 times for 119 yards and passed for 227 yards. Using either his arm or his legs, he created all four of Woodson's touchdowns.
"We moved okay on offense," McGee said. "But then they would get the ball and go down [the field] easy. Their offense was way too much. We never stopped them."
In the other semifinal, Coolidge (9-2) running back Dwan Thornton looked similarly unstoppable against Ballou (4-7). Thornton, who came into the game with 1,466 yards and 19 touchdowns, had one of his most productive games yet. The junior ran 26 times for 223 yards, scoring once.
"We came into this game knowing we had to run it to win it," Thornton said. "It was pretty simple. I knew that I just had to keep pounding away for the team. I had to move the ball."
About the only time Thornton didn't move the ball was in the fourth quarter, when he came out with a minor shin injury. Even then, Coolidge proved it has a capable backup. Wayne Ouzts scored a touchdown in Thornton's place. Ouzts also took an interception 57 yards for a score.
"Now all we need to worry about is one more win," Thornton said. "We're going to do the same thing in the Turkey Bowl. We're going to run hard. That's how we win.