Paul Laurence Dunbar Senior High School of Baltimore City, the reigning Maryland state class 1A champs, opened up its 2012 football season with a matchup against Calvert Hall College High School of Towson, Md. in the I-95 Football Classic on Friday Aug. 31 at Johnny Unitas Stadium on the campus of Towson University in Towson, Md.
Unfortunately for Dunbar, they didn’t have the same success Friday as they had in last year’s state title game as Calvert Hall ripped the state champs, 30-6, in front of a reported crowd of nearly 4,000 fans in attendance.
Calvert Hall was able to take advantage of what appeared to be a very rusty Dunbar team that still hasn’t quite found its usual niche of dominating opponents this early in the season. Dunbar committed several unforced turnovers, such as muffed snaps and untimely fumbles.
Calvert Hall jumped out to an early 7-0 lead just minutes into the first quarter after junior quarterback Colar Kuhns tossed a short touchdown pass to receiver Russell Neverdon; the touchdown was set up after Dunbar fumbled the ball, giving Calvert Hall a very short field to drive for the score.
A short field goal pushed Calvert Hall’s lead to 10-0 at the top of the second quarter, but Dunbar responded with a scoring drive of its own, capped off by junior quarterback William Crest with a 1-yard touchdown run.
Dunbar trailed only 10-6 at halftime and it seemed as if fans would have a very close game to watch until the final whistle blew. Instead, Dunbar wouldn’t come close to reaching the end zone for the rest of the game as Calvert Hall eventually ran away with the lopsided victory.
Kuhns threw another touchdown pass in the second half, this time to receiver Kyle Levere; Calvert Hall running backs Robbie Jones and Garrett Keen also scored, both on short touchdown runs.
Dunbar’s Crest went on to finish completing only 8-of-20 passes for 139 yards, two interceptions and rushing touchdown.
“We can’t make mistakes like we did, turning the ball over and giving the opponent a short field to score and expect to win games,” said Dunbar head coach Lawrence Smith. “We’ve got to go back to the basics, everybody, and focus on being the disciplined team that we’re expected to be.”
But even with the tough season-opening loss, Smith is still confident his team will win a lot of games this season.
“We played bad but I’m going to reverse it and say this: we’ve lost a lot of season openers before and still went on to win championships those years. So if anybody on this team is ready to quit after one tough loss, they might as well leave now. I prefer us to lose like this now so that it reminds us of the hard work we have to put in if we want to be the champs again.”
Dunbar will see its next action on Sept. 8 against Southwestern at Polytechnic field in West Baltimore, Md. Kickoff starts at 4:30 p.m.
In other Baltimore City high school football action…
- Patterson High school also opened its season in the I-95 Classic, falling to Archbishop — Curley 18-13, on Aug. 31.
- Southwestern won its season opener against Lake Clifton, 14-6.
- Edmonson-Westside played its second game of the season, crushing Spingarn, 52-6.
- City College beat up on Eastern Tech in their season opener, 42-3.
- Carver Vo-Tech lost its first game of the season, 26-6.
- Sparrows Point handled Digital Harbor, 28-6.