As he lined up in the backfield, ready to take the handoff for a two-point conversion on the last play of overtime, Dunbar running back Olu Izegwire insisted later he wasn’t scared. The adrenaline was pumping. The DCIAA West title was on the line.
Izegwire took the handoff, followed his teammate Curlee Walker and then bounced to the right sideline and into the end zone for the winning score in a thrilling 43-42 win over Coolidge in Northwest Washington on Friday night. And with it, the Crimson Tide snatched its sixth straight division title.
Izegwire, who finished with 162 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries, said he knew he was going to get in the end zone. “But it was deep in my heart.. . . Football is my game and I love it so much.”
With the win, the Crimson Tide (7-3, 4-1) claimed the top seed from the division for the playoffs. The Colts (7-2, 4-1) will be the second seed.
The back-and-forth game seemed destined for overtime. Dunbar broke out to a 13-0 lead before Coolidge rallied to take a two-touchdown lead early in the second quarter.
Coolidge led 35-27 with just over 5:30 left when Femi Bamiro threw a touchdown pass to Dayon Pratt. But the Crimson Tide responded within 90 seconds when Walker scored on a two-yard run.
After penalties hurt the Colts final drive and the Dunbar defense held, the game went into overtime.
The Colts scored first in overtime when Bamiro, who finished with 289 yards passing and threw for four touchdowns, threw a two-yard score to Fellonte Misher. Emmanuel Mbah added the extra-point kick.
On the second play of the Crimson Tide’s overtime possession, Izegwire ran 11 yards for a touchdown. And after a Colts timeout, the Crimson Tide lined up for a two-point conversion. Dunbar had attempted two point-after kicks, making one. When the Crimson Tide missed a point-after kick early in the second quarter, they opted to go for only two-point conversions the rest of the way.
So when they scored in overtime, Izegwire had a pretty strong inkling he would get the call. He took the handoff and ran to the right side for the win.
After the winning two-point run, Izegwire bounced around on the field, led his team in a cheer twice and received a congratulatory hug from D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, a Dunbar graduate who had been watching from the press box.
“Nice job,” Gray said.