Dunbar is one of the Public League’s proudest football programs. The Mightymen were a state playoff regular under longtime coach Glenn Johnson and 1997 graduate Rocky Harvey is one of the state’s all-time greats. He’s fourth in state history in career rushing yards, the only Chicago player in the top twenty.
Last season was rough. The only time Dunbar made news was for forfeiting its Week 1 game against Nazareth. Things didn’t get much better. The Mightymen finished 2-7, were outscored 282-34 and also forfeited against Curie.
So new coach Abdullah Asad walked into a bit of a mess. But his eyes were wide open.
“This is a prestigious job,” Asad said. “I’m a CPS product. I just want to bring the flavor back to the Public League. That’s all I’m about. I wanted to help the kids and bring Dunbar football back to life.”
Asad, a 2010 Morgan Park graduate, saw the Mightymen play a number of times last season.
“I knew they had some guys coming back and I thought I could bring my energy and a staff here and make something happen,” Asad said. “I knew they had a little bit, but I didn’t know they had this much. The group has a lot of heart.”
That heart was on full display on Thursday at Gately. Dunbar came from behind to beat Comer 12-8.
Quarterback Laron Owens connected with receiver Kayron Owens on a 69-yard touchdown pass with 4:03 to play. It came just about a minute after the Catamounts had taken the lead.
“[Laron] made the whole defense shift to the right and I was by myself on the left and there were like two players to beat,” Kayron Owens said. “He threw it to me and the rest was history.”
Laron, a junior, and Kayron, a sophomore are twin brothers.
“We’ve been playing together our whole lives,” Laron Owens said. “It’s way different with him than with anybody else on the team. I know him better than he knows himself.”
Laron Owens had six carries for 47 yards. He was 9 of 16 passing for 147 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Six of those passes and both touchdowns were to his brother Kayron, for 117 yards.
“Laron is a smart player,” Kayron Owens said. “You never know what he’s going to do: tuck it, throw it, you just have to stay prepared.”
Comer (1-1) scored and took the lead with 5:21 to play. Quarterback Tevin Lewis-Johnson connected with big tight end Leandre Lusane on a 19-yard touchdown pass and then Lusane ran in the two-point conversion.
Comer QB Tevin Lewis-Johnson connects with big tight end Leondre Lusane for a 19-yard TD. Could be the game-winner. Comer leads Dunbar 8-6 with 5:21 left pic.twitter.com/xRrhTXgUM4
— Michael O'Brien (@michaelsobrien) August 30, 2018
Lewis-Johnson was 9 of 19 for 118 yards and one touchdown. Lusane caught five passes for 62 yards.
Dunbar (2-0) beat King 18-0 in Week 1, so it has only allowed one touchdown so far this season.
“I’m a defensive guy,” Asad said. “If our defense stands up we will be in any game against anybody. I’m a firm believer in that.”
Defensive end Tyrese Scurlock is a game-changer. The 6-6, 210-pound senior had two sacks and deflected a few passes.
“We just play hard,” Scurlock said. “We never gave up on any play, just kept going and going.”
The Mightymen face Marine next week.
“Last year was a whole lot to deal with,” Kayron Owens said. “Coach came in and said he was hungry and we are hungry too. We want to turn this thing around.”
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