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Turkey Bowl to decide city football champs

(Published November 15, 1999)

By MICHAEL NEWALL

Staff Writer

The DCIAA varsity football playoffs got underway Nov. 13, with four teams squaring off to decide who will fight for the title in the annual Turkey Bowl held on Thanksgiving Day.

In the first game of the doubleheader, West Division No. 2-ranked Wilson High took on East Division champion Eastern High School. But not even senior quarterback Avery Bowden, the DCIAA’s leading passer, was enough to advance Wilson to the final matchup.

Dunbar, which handed Wilson a deflating loss in the final game of the regular season and finished on top of the West Division, took on East Division second-place finisher H.D. Woodson in the second playoff game. Scores were unavailable at press time.

Dunbar, the defending D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association champions, earned its second straight West Division title and extended a 10-game DCIAA winning streak that dates from 1997 to finish out the season. Behind the passing of senior quarterback Michael Coles and the running power of James Lynch, the Crimson Tide looked hard to beat going into the playoffs.

Coles and senior wide receiver Steven Savoy (50 catches, 670 yards and 8 touchdowns) have formed a tandem that has toyed with opposing defnses all year.

Woodson, led by running back Keon Coleman (1,693 yards, 15 touchdowns) and quarterback Maurice Moore, planned to try to exploit Dunbar’s weak secondary. Another standout for Wood-son all year has been wide receiver Howard Gilmore, with 482 yards on 29 catches.

Dunbar head coach Craig Jefferies said he couldn’t be happier with how his team has been playing the last few weeks. He was extremely confident, going into the playoff game, that his team could once again be celebrating on Turkey Day.

"We have jelled together as a team at just the perfect time," he said. "Our offensive and defensive lines are playing better than I have ever seen them. It is relaxing knowing that our quarterback does not have to win the game for us every week."

Dunbar was forced to enter the playoffs without offensive lineman Tim Stewart, who is out for the year with a knee injury.

Copyright 1999, The Common Denominator