WASHINGTON, D.C.-- Senior defensive back Travon Parker sure picked a good time to be a hero. With his team trailing by one point with a quarter remaining in a battle for first place in the District of Columbia Interscholastic Athletic Association (DCIAA) West, Parker came up with perhaps the biggest play of the season for the Woodrow Wilson Tigers (7-3, 4-0).
Wilson had just seen its momentum blown away as the Matthews brothers --quarterback Lamal and wide receiver Delonte -- hooked up for a 50-yard touchdown to put the Dunbar Crimson Tide (6-2, 2-1) ahead 13-12 late in the final quarter.
But it was Parker who put the Tide to sleep as his teammates celebrated each yard of his 80-yard return and a 20-13 win over their D.C. rival at Cardozo High School on Oct. 26.
It had been nearly 13 seasons since Wilson last beat Dunbar in 1998 but a power running game gave the Tigers a 12-6 lead after the first half before Parker gave them the win in the second.
Senior running back Jeremy Dixon rushed for 86 yards in a physical first half for Wilson. The Tigers’ power formations drilled Dunbar early, frustrating the Tide into several personal foul calls.
Dunbar adjusted at halftime and slowed down Wilson's rushing attack before taking their first lead of the night. Lamal Matthews found his brother streaking down the right side and his front line gave him enough time to launch a picture perfect ball to Delonte Matthews, who jogged into the end zone prior to Dunbar faithful penciling in another win over the Tigers.
Parker, however, had other plans. "I saw the open field and I was just thinking touchdown. I wanted to bring this W home for our team," Parker said. "It's a big accomplishment for us. We went crazy."
This was the regular season finale for Wilson as they gear up for the DCIAA playoffs in two weeks. The win not only broke a decade-long losing streak to Dunbar but assured them the top seed in the playoffs as they finished with the best regular season record.
"Our guys prepared hard all week," said Wilson coach Mark Martin. "This was the year for us to be able to compete against Dunbar. If you see them on film they execute but our guys came out and they wanted it."