Five years after taking the helm as the coach of Brunswick High School’s football team, Patt Foster is finally playing the team he’s been waiting for: Dunbar, the two-time defending 1A state champion. The Poets have also won six of the past eight state titles.
“I want to grow the program and I want to be at a state level, recognition wise,” he said. “To be the best you have to beat the best and Dunbar’s the best. That’s where I want to be right now. ... I’ve wanted a chance to play them and we’re getting it. Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for, maybe. But that’s what we want to find out. It’s going to be a great test for us.”
The teams are scheduled to play 1 p.m. Saturday in a 1A state semifinal at Dunbar.
Brunswick (7-4) advanced to the semifinal game with a 46-42 win against Fort Hill. The Railroaders scored the winning touchdown with 42.7 seconds remaining, culminating a two-play drive that began with 1 minute on the clock. It was Brunswick’s second 1A West Region title in three years.
Dunbar (10-1) beat Forest Park 49-0 to take the 1A North Region title. The Poets’ only loss was in its season opener, 30-6, against Calvert Hall.
Running a no-huddle offense, which prominently features the pass and four and five wide receiver sets, Foster thinks his team will give Dunbar a look they haven’t seen yet this season.
“I don’t know anybody else in the state that runs stuff like us,” he said. “I’m sure they’ve seen some of the stuff that we’re doing, but I don’t know if they’ve seen it at the level that we’re hoping to run it at them. But I know they’re awful good too so that’s a whole new level.”
Blaine Price, who had 158 receiving yards and four touchdown receptions against Fort Hill, is confident the Railroaders can continue moving the ball effectively against Dunbar.
“Coach has been waiting to test it out on them,” the senior said. “You have to test it out on the very best and see if it works there. I’m confident it will. I don’t see why not. It’s worked up to this point.”
Under center, Collin Nusbaum directs the high-flying show. He threw for 303 yards and three touchdowns against Fort Hill.
“He’s getting us into the right play 99 percent of the time and giving us a chance to be successful,” Foster said. “As a quarterback, he understands his role is to move the chains. It’s not to make the big throw or the big play or throw the ball 50 yards downfield. It’s to move the chains and he does that.”
To help Brunswick win a spot in the 1A state championship game, Nusbaum says the Railroaders have to approach this game like any other.
“It’s just another football game for us,” Nusbaum said. “We can’t go in there thinking, ‘Oh, it’s Dunbar. They win states a lot.’ They’re a big-time program and all, but we have to play our game. I’m sure they haven’t seen a passing team like us, so it’ll be interesting to see.”