Taiwan Deal ran left, right and mostly north, but never south, and by the end of the first half, the sophomore running back had dealt three rushing touchdowns to a Dunbar Crimson Tide defense that arrived allowing less than two points per game.
In a game of the week between a pair of inter-conference powerhouse schools, the DeMatha Stags of the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC), led by the 6-foot-2-inch, 226-pound Deal, ran through Dunbar of the DCIAA in a 34-0 shutout on Sept. 21 at the Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex in Landover, Md.
With the help of Deal and junior quarterback John Lovett, DeMatha of Hyattsville, Md. cruised 80 yards on their opening drive for a score, capped off by five-yard touchdown plunge from Deal.
Both schools traded turnovers in the first half, but even when Dunbar of Washington, D.C. closed in on a possible score, the DeMatha defense was there to turn them back each and every time. DeMatha held Dunbar to just 59 total yards in the first half, highlighted by a pair of consecutive drives that started deep in DeMatha territory after Dunbar recovered back-to-back DeMatha fumbles.
But the Stags never flinched as their defensive line pressured the Tide all night into committing fumbles and executing plays for negative yards. Late in the second quarter Dunbar lost 19 yards on three consecutive negative plays before senior quarterback Lamel Matthews’ desperation pass sailed high and out of bounds on fourth-and-29 on a drive that began on the Stags’ 10-yard line.
“We understood that Dunbar was a very good team and we just wanted to prepare and play at a high level,” DeMatha coach Elijah Brooks said after the game. “Our guys came out, they fought, they executed and we came away with the win against a good team.”
With the Stags leading 21-0 deep into the third quarter, Deal ripped off another scoring run and bulldozed his way into the endzone, carrying multiple Dunbar defenders with him.
“I kept my shoulders down low and when I saw contact coming I dipped my shoulder and kept pushing forward,” Deal said of his effort.
When all was said and done, DeMatha (5-0) did more than enough to keep its unbeaten streak alive. The team enters conference play Sept. 29 against O’Connell, while Dunbar (4-1) will look to rebound against DCIAA rival Coolidge.
DeMatha sophomore runninng back Taiwan Deal talks with the AFRO after a 34-0 win over Dunbar (D.C.) on Sept. 21, 2012
DeMatha coach Elijah Brooks speaks with the AFRO after 34-0 victory over Dunar (D.C.) on Sept. 21, 2012