Class 1A state semifinal

Fort Hill (10-2) vs. No. 9 Dunbar (11-1)



Fort Hill-Joe Howser: 19 for 44, 322 yards, 3 TDs, 3 INTs; Dunbar-Kevin Estep: 51 for 80, 733 yards, 10 TDs, 2 INTs


Fort Hill-Garrett Clay: 171 carries, 1,317 yards, 19 TDs; Dunbar-Epe Henriques: 120 carries, 896 yards, 9 TDs


Fort Hill-Dylan Clay: 13 catches, 240 yards, 4 TDs; Dunbar-Deontay McManus: 22 catches, 309 yards, 5 TDs


Fort Hill-Garrett Clay: 19; Dunbar-McManus and Henriques: 10 each



Total tackles

Fort Hill-Garrett Dolly: 107; Dunbar-Travon Garrett: 137

Quarterback sacks

Fort Hill-Justin Dawson: 8; Dunbar-Lavar Highsmith: 15


Fort Hill-Dylan Clay 4; Dunbar-Aaron Haynes, Leland Lassiter and McManus: 4 each



One of the premier games over the last two decades in the state tournament is renewed with a trip to the state championship game on the line. The Poets earned their eighth straight state semifinal berth with a 32-12 victory over previously unbeaten Forest Park in the South Region title game at Poly last Saturday.

Travon Garrett, Deontay McManus and Coleman Blackston scored touchdowns for the Poets, and Lavar Highsmith had an 80-yard kickoff return. After surrendering its first points in seven games, Dunbar held Forest Park to 46 yards in the second half.

The brother duo of Dylan and Garrett Clay helped Fort Hill back to the state semifinals last weekend against Mountain Ridge in the West Region finals. Garrett Clay rushed for 126 yards and had a rushing and receiving touchdown, while Dylan added 116 yards.

The Sentinels’ defense limited Mountain Ridge to 76 yards and four first downs, en route to their sixth shutout of the season. Fort Hill finished with a gaudy 33:50 to 14:10 advantage in time of possession.

A huge turnout is expected at Poly’s Lumsden-Scott Stadium as Fort Hill and the Poets meet for the first time since the 2008 championship game at M & T Bank Stadium. The Poets dominated early with two first quarter touchdowns by Tavon Austin (West Virginia University).

But Fort Hill outplayed the east Baltimore school most of the game, earning a 19-12 advantage. The Sentinels missed a field goal with 1 minute, 56 seconds remaining, and the Poets regained possession at their own 10-yard line.

In one of the most memorable moments in Baltimore football history, Dunbar went 90 yards for a touchdown as Jonathan Perry found Sean Farr for a 14-yard score with just two seconds remaining. Austin followed with the two-point conversion, giving the Poets a 20-19 victory and their third straight title.

Their run started with a 38-23 victory over Fort Hill in the 2006 1A finals at M & T Bank Stadium. In 1997, the Sentinels won their first championship in 22 seasons with a 22-6 decision over Dunbar in the Class 2A finals at the University of Maryland’s Byrd Stadium.

The Poets became the first Baltimore City team to win a state title, beating Fort Hill, 30-15, in the 2A finals at North Hagerstown.