Poets rout Bulls for third straight trip to state semifinals
Jared Lewis’ game against Hereford on Friday night was one he’ll remember.
The Dunbar junior quarterback picked apart the No. 15 Bulls for four touchdown passes in the first half, and the Poets dominated Hereford en route to a 60-14 victory in the Class 2A North region final in Parkton.
The win returned Dunbar to the state semifinals for the third straight season.
Dunbar coach Lawrence Smith said his Poets have unfinished business after the way the past two seasons ended.
“Boy, do they really want a state championship,” Smith said. “They are very hungry and they won’t take no for an answer. We are prepared to go anywhere to get it.”
The Poets wouldn’t be getting another shot at one without Lewis, who has 22 touchdown passes this season.
Running the spread offense, he completed eight of12 passes for 221yards and threw two of his four touchdowns to sophomore wide receiver Melvin Curbeam.
Senior running back Jamorrie Ransome also joined in, rushing for two touchdowns and 151 yards on 11 carries.
Smith, however, wanted to talk about Lewis after the game.
“He has done nothing but gotten better and better as the year has gone along,” Smith said. “He had a new offensive coordinator and had to learn a new system.”
Smith had the Poets moving up and down the field for the entire first half.
Dunbar (9-3) threatened to score on its opening drive, but Hereford defensive lineman Troy Gladney stopped Ransome on fourthand-goal from the 3-yard line.
But the Poets scored the second time they touched the ball. Junior Ryan Wood returned Sam Wanamaker’s punt 70 yards for a touchdown.
Uriah Kemo kicked the extra point to make it 7-0. It didn’t take long for Dunbar to score again. On third-and-14, Lewis found a wide-open Zaywhon Johnson over the middle for a 65-yard touchdown. Kemo’s extra-point attempt was blocked. Hereford (11-1) scored on its third possession. The Bulls moved 61 yards in nine plays and JD Nozemack ran around the left side of the line for a 5-yard touchdown to trim the lead to 13-6 with 9:03 remaining. Quarterback Josh Wegrzyn, who was filling in for the injured John Marchinek (concussion), highlighted the series with an 18-yard pass to Mack Cotterino.
Dunbar answered quickly as the remainder of the first half belonged to the Poets.
Lewis finished off a 5-play, 65-yard drive when he teamed up with Curbeam for a 32-yard touchdown with 6:54 left.
Lewis ran in the 2-point conversion to give the Poets a 21-7 lead.
The quarterback continued to frustrate the Bulls late in the second quarter, throwing a 51-yard touchdown pass to Curbeam to make it 27-7.
Lewis finished the first-half scoring with a 24-yard touchdown on screen pass to Ransome on fourth-and-4 to push it to 33-7 — the halftime score.
Ransome then put the game out of reach on the second play from scrimmage in the second half with a 65-yard touchdown run. Dunbar’s Melvin Curbeam makes a catch for a touchdown in the second quarter in front of Hereford defender Mack Cotterino.