WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- With just 2:44 left in the game, Anacostia's offense was hungry for a touchdown. The score had been locked at 12-6 since the end of the third and time was running out. Dunbar's lead was on the line and Anacostia's opportunity to tie up the game was four yards away when Indians quarterback DeQuan Turner's pass, intended for Gaylon Foster, was blocked by Dunbar junior linebacker Terry Talford.
PHOTOS: Turkey Bowl 2012
Just when the Crimson Tide thought they were out of danger -- a flag was thrown on Anacostia's fourth down. The Indians reset on Dunbar's 1-yard line. Turner's pass went over the hands of receiver Don'Tae Lee. This relentless defensive pressure would ultimately secure a 12-8 win for the Crimson Tide, who claimed their second consecutive DC Interscholastic Athletic Association (DCIAA) title on Thursday afternoon at Eastern High School.
"They were very resilient right there on that 1-yard line. That was big," said Dunbar head coach Jerron Joe.
This year, Dunbar only had two returning starters on offense. Through the postseason, quarterback Lamel Matthews did an oustanding job keeping the offense in sync and the Turkey Bowl was no different. He threw for 131 yards and completed 19 of 29 passes. Freshman running back Monte Smith led the Crimson Tide with 71 receiving yards and Lamel's brother, junior wide receiver Delonte Matthews, was second on the team with 59 receiving yards.
"Playing with my brother is great. We always got a connection ... We've been throwing together forever. He was always my wide receiver, I was always his quarterback," said Lamel Matthews.
Anacostia, which finished the season 6-5, was slotted for the Turkey Bowl last week. The Indians replaced Wilson, which was disqualified after a DCPS investigation determined one of their players, Nico Jaleel Robinson, was ineligible because he was not a DC resident. On Tuesday, the District's State Athletic Association's Athletic Appeals Panel upheld DCPS' decision.
Anacostia played sound defense, holding Dunbar to just two touchdowns, both of which were in the second quarter. The Indians offense kicked into high gear late in the second when senior wide receiver Tyray Johnson, who had a total of 71 receiving yards, completed a 15-yard pass from Turner. This boosted Anacostia's energy level and the Indians didn't lose momentum until the game's final seconds.
"I'm so proud of our guys and the way that they performed ... Their improvement from one year is remarkable. You can give credit to the staff. Our staff did a great job of getting our guys prepared week in and week out."
Next up for Dunbar, the first-ever statewide championship football game. On December 1 at Howard University, the Crimson Tide will take on the winner of Saturday's charter school semifinal, KIPP vs. Friendship Collegiate Academy.