Defense was the order of the day in the preseason matchup Friday night. Both teams showed the signs of jitters early in the game, but it was Ida Baker that came away with a 9-8 victory over Dunbar at Bulldogs Stadium.
Dunbar was the first to go on offense. The Tigers failed to move the ball and were set to go three-and-out when sophomore QB and punter Daniel Cobb lined up in punt formation and promptly took the snap and sprinted down the right sideline for 17 yards and a first down. The momentum was short-lived as a stubborn Bulldogs defense forced a fourth down situation and stopped Cobb for a one-yard loss.
After some positive plays by sophomore quarterback Sage Atwood and senior runningback Jeremy Betts, the Bulldogs had to surrender the ball.
Ida Baker junior Alex Febles stretches for a few extra yards as he’s tackled by Dunbar’s Robert Byrd and James Hurajay on a screen pass play Friday night.
The first break of the game went to Dunbar when Atwood coughed up the ball at the Bulldogs 33-yard line. Stout defensive play and penalties meant the Tigers were unable to capitalize and again turned the ball over on downs.
This time the Bulldogs made good on a break. Tigers sophomore Robert Byrd tried to field a short punt only to turn it over to a pack of Bulldogs defenders. Atwood then led the offense on a short drive that resulted in the first and only score of the half, a 26-yard field goal by Junior Trayvon Clarke.
The third quarter saw much of the same. The Tigers offense attempted to ride the legs of Cobb, but always came up short.
The Bulldogs tried to outmuscle the Tigers behind Betts and junior tailback Alex Febles. The big breakthrough came with 11:31 to play. Atwood took a read option around the left side, cut back to the middle and dragged two Dunbar defenders across the goal line for a 31-yard touchdown. The extra point failed and Baker led 9-0.
The Tigers marched to the Baker 22-yard line. Three plays later, Cobb powered across the goal line to make it 9-8 with a two-point conversion by Marquise Bryant.
Baker hosts Estero in the regular season opener next Friday night.