Every week, Dunham’s defense sets a goal for turnovers. After creating five takeaways against Capitol on Friday night, the Tigers might want to raise the bar a little higher.
All four of Dunham’s starting defense backs snagged first-quarter interceptions, and junior running back Tony Huey scored three total touchdowns as the Tigers routed the Lions 45-6 in a District 6-2A matchup on senior night.
“Our coaches on defense do a great job of game planning and putting our guys in a great position,” Dunham coach Neil Weiner said. “You get what you expect, and we expect our guys to make plays. We expect our guys to get takeaways.”
Huey busted a 55-yard run on Dunham’s (6-1, 3-1) first possession to set up a 3-yard touchdown plunge from sophomore quarterback Mike Williams. Capitol (0-7, 0-4) took over near midfield following a long kickoff return, but the Tigers forced a three-and-out and blocked the punt.
After the turnover, senior kicker Sean Militello booted a 22-yard field goal to put Dunham up 10-0. Freshman defensive back Derek Stingley picked off a pass on the ensuing possession, and Huey capped the drive with a 1-yard score.
“You can’t turn the ball over that many times in the first half and expect to not get scored on,” Capitol coach Johnny Duncan said. “It hurt us really bad.”
Freshman quarterback De’Andre Selmon gave Capitol a bit of life with a 24-yard pass to sophomore Keshawn Lee, but the Lions offense stalled.
Dunham started on the Capitol 33-yard line following a poor punt, and Huey found the end zone for the second time from 2 yards out. Senior defensive back Abel Duhon returned a tipped interception into the red zone, where Huey notched his third touchdown on a 16-yard screen pass from Williams.
“He ran a hitch, and it went in the air, and I just caught it,” Duhon said.
Capitol managed to reach the red zone on the following possession before disaster struck. A chop block and an errant snap over Selmon’s head resulted in a third-and-32, and junior defensive back Josh Matthews returned an interception of a desperation pass for 38 yards.
“Any time we got something going, it was marched back down with penalties,” Duncan said.
Williams gained all 32 of the Tigers’ yards on their possession, finishing the drive with a 1-yard pass to Duhon to stake Dunham to a 38-0 halftime lead.
The Lions inserted junior Randell Bessard at quarterback for their final drive of the half, but he threw an interception as well. Capitol gained only 78 yards in the first half.
Neither offense did much in the second half, and the Lions’ lone score came on a 70-yard end-around by sophomore receiver Larry Robinson. He almost had a receiving touchdown late in the game but fumbled on the goal line, resulting in a touchback.
The Tigers’ 31-yard field-goal attempt in the fourth quarter went awry on a low snap, but they capped the scoring in the final minute with a 1-yard touchdown run by senior receiver Elliott Dunham.
Capitol committed 10 penalties for 81 yards, but the four first-half turnovers and blocked punt loomed large in Dunham’s crushing victory.
“Our coaches have done a great job every single week of findings some tendencies we try to exploit, and our kids get excited about it,” Weiner said. “Early on, everything we practiced was happening in the game, and our kids feed on that. It just kept that momentum going.”