When Dunbar Excessive Faculty and Friendship Collegiate Public Constitution Faculty final met, it was the common season opener on Aug. 25, and Friendship prevailed 19-6. Quick ahead two months later and the 2 native powers met in a rematch, this time for the District of Columbia State Athletic Affiliation (DCSAA) Soccer Class AA Championship on Dec. 2.
The consequence was the identical because the August matchup, with Friendship beating the Crimson Tide 25-13. The seventh-ranked Knights (11-2) took house their second straight title at William H. Greene Stadium on the campus of Howard College.
The Crimson Tide (9-3), ranked quantity 17, opened the season with shut losses to Friendship and extremely regarded Mount Saint Joseph’s earlier than reeling off 9 straight wins in spectacular vogue, averaging 40 factors per sport throughout that streak.
“We knew how explosive they might be on offense, so we got here in realizing that our protection needed to play properly,” mentioned Friendship Collegiate Head Coach Mike Hunter, who received his sixth title.
The Knights additionally had a really powerful schedule with losses at nationally ranked St. John’s Bosco (California) and a troublesome 16-13 additional time loss on the quantity 10 ranked Gonzaga. Following that setback, Friendship reeled off six straight wins, limiting opponents to below 10 factors per contest throughout that stretch.
The Knights set the tone on Dunbar, limiting them to a three-and-out, after which capitalizing by scoring on their first offensive possession. It could take Friendship 10 performs to go 55 yards, with senior quarterback Brandon Toles capping it off with a two-yard run.
Then Dunbar made some changes on protection, and matched with some expensive Knights penalties. The Crimson Tide was in a position to keep shut.
On a day when its offense was not clicking on all cylinders, it was solely becoming that Friendship flip to its vaunted protection led by senior bookend linebackers, DeAndre Cook dinner and Dylan Stewart.
The gifted duo wreaked havoc, as they’ve all season, making a number of performs behind the road of scrimmage and forcing Dunbar quarterback Brosnan Dukes into a number of errant throws below duress. The strain lastly paid dividends when halfway by means of the second quarter, Stewart picked up a Dunbar fumble and returned it 26 yards to make the rating, 13-0.
“It means loads to try this in my final sport,” Stewart mentioned of his scoring play. “It comes from taking part in good groups and realizing what adversity is and coaching for it.”
Stewart, standing 6 toes and 4 inches senior, is headed for the College of South Carolina.
Friendship would proceed to dominate the road of scrimmage a fair when Stewart was ejected within the third quarter, Cook dinner turned it up a notch. Additionally 6 toes and 4 inches, Cook dinner is headed to Penn State, and was named the sport MVP after amassing eight solos, three sacks and three tackles for losses.
With the Crimson Tide unable to do something with its operating sport that featured senior operating backs Michael Clark and Dre’Aun Wooden (who mixed for over 2,200 yards and 28 touchdowns between them throughout the season), the Knights would finally take benefit.
Friendship was in a position to cement their lead with a spectacular 56-yard landing run by senior operating again Damarjae Jones (12 carries, 86 yards) and a landing cross from Toles to senior large receiver Keyon Starkey-Webb to make it 25-0 within the fourth quarter.
However the proud Crimson Tide, who had been taking part in of their third championship sport, refused to go down with out a battle. Going away from its bodily run sport, Dunbar turned to the passing mixture of quarterback Dukes, to large receiver Isaiah Bradford, who teamed for 2 touchdowns in a two-minute span. There have been nonetheless six minutes left on the clock, however the Knights slammed the door, as that was as shut as they’d get.
“We had a great season if you look again,” mirrored Dunbar Head Coach Anthony “Bink” Vaughn. “The youngsters did every thing we requested of them. I feel we represented the DCIAA and Dunbar properly. We simply didn’t have sufficient at present. We confronted an excellent, well-coached soccer workforce.”
Because the Friendship Collegiate sideline rushed the sphere amid flashing stadium lights and a drum line from the varsity band Saturday at Howard College, the Knights chanted “S.O.B.,” which means stand on enterprise — a motto that got here to outline their season.
“S.O.B. means everyone stands on their assignments and does what they must do,” quarterback Toles mentioned. “No matter they are saying earlier than the sport, they should stand on enterprise and really actually imply it and step as much as it.”
The bookend matchups in opposition to Dunbar offered proof of progress for the Knights, and it was an opportunity to show simply how dominant they are often on their approach to a sixth DCSAA title.
“We’re all the time going to problem ourselves, not solely with video games however how we follow and the way we assault the burden room,” Hunter mentioned. “So we need to get these youngsters to play extra than simply for a soccer sport however for a way life goes to go. You’ll have some challenges, some belongings you acquired to beat, and so they’re prepared for it.”
The following purpose for the Knights: “To boost the bar,” Toles mentioned. “We’re going to go undefeated.”