LeMarcus Young scored a pair of defensive touchdowns, leading Dunbar to a 35-0 win over Cypress Lake on Friday night.
The senior cornerback stripped a ball on a Cypress run and ran it 30 yards for one touchdown. His second score was an interception in which he took the ball out of the intended receiver’s hands and ran it 28 yards.
“Everybody teaches the strip-and-score and scoop-and-score, Dunbar coach Sammy Brown said. “This happened to be his night tonight; he got two of them. The ball was carried kind of loosely, and he pulled it out of there.”
The game gave the Tigers (5-3, 1-1 in 5A-12) their first district win and kept them in what is a competitive playoff race. The Panthers fell to 3-4, 0-3 in the district.
“Every game is a playoff game right now,” Brown said. “You’ve got to treat it as such and come to practice, have a good week, and hopefully perform on Friday night.”
Young’s plays were not the only turnovers that put 6 points on the board. The Panthers fumbled the ball away on their first two possessions, and the second of those gave the Tigers the game-deciding score just two minutes in. Terrell Kennedy forced the fumble, which bounced into the end zone. Kennedy ended up pouncing on the ball and grabbing it before the pile crashed down. Xavier McDonald’s kick made it 7-0.
After Young’s first touchdown extended the lead, Dunbar quarterback Jairus Johnson provided some offensive fireworks with Tariq Thomas. Johnson launched a deep bomb, which Thomas caught and ran 63 yards, scoring a touchdown and making it 21-0 as time expired at the half.
“That was a big ball for us,” Brown said. “It was a crucial time of the game when it was 5, 6 seconds left. We wanted to get the ball up the sideline, he hit him, and he ran it in.”
Keanu Young scored on a 35-yard run just seven seconds into the third quarter. Young’s interception return and the ensuing extra point triggered a running clock for the entirety of the fourth quarter.
Johnson completed 9 of 19 passes for 132 yards. Though he did not get into the end zone, senior Lajuan Preston was the leading rusher with 11 carries for 65 yards.
Cypress Lake turned over the ball 5 times, with 3 lost fumbles and 2 interceptions. These were debilitating in a game where there were some moments of spunk.
“Too many negative plays offensively and we turned the ball over too much tonight,” Cypress Lake coach Richard Rode said. “We gave them too many freebies. With a team like that and with an offense like that who’s going to score on you anyway, we gave them too many freebies. You can’t do that.”
DUNBAR 35, CYPRESS LAKE 0
CL 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 — 0
D 7 | 14 | 14 | 0 — 35
D— Terrell Kennedy 0 fumble return (Xavier McDonald kick), 9:49
D— LeMarcus Young 30 fumble return (McDonald kick), 3:57
D— Tariq Thomas 63 pass from Jairus Johnson (McDonald kick), 0:00
D— Keanu Young 35 run (McDonald kick); 11:23
D— Young 28 interception return (McDonald kick); 0:50
Rushing – CL, Jeffrey McDonald 2-12, Isaiah Thomas 6-8, Keyon Brawner 6-3, Chris Joseph 1-0, Kelsey Demps 15-(minus 16); DHS, Lajuan Preston 11-65, Keanu Young 3-33, Tariq Thomas 2-(minus 4), Jairus Johnson 2-(minus 16).
Passing – CL, Kelsey Demps 4-5-21-1, Keyon Brawner 3-6-18-1; DHS, Jairus Johnson 9-19-132-0; Tariq Thomas 2-2-16-0.
Receiving – CL, Keyon Brawner 1-14, Chris Joseph 2-14, Cameron Nelson 1-10, Isaiah Thomas 1-1, Jermaine Teague 1-0, Jerry Ridley 1-0; DHS, Tariq Thomas 1-63, Kenny Benjamin 5-47, Shocky Jacques-Louis 4-29, Bakari Jackson 2-18, Seneca Milledge 5-17, Jeremiah Rice 1-12, Lajuan Preston 2-(minus 3).