Brunswick High School football coach Patt Foster got his chance to test his offense against arguably the best 1A team in the state. Playing in cold, cloud, windy conditions on Saturday at Dunbar, the Railroaders had trouble moving the ball against the two-time defending state champions and lost, 40-8.
Brunswick (8-5) turned the ball over five times, including three in the second half.
“You can’t turn the ball over five times against a team like this and expect to beat them at this level of play,” Foster said. “You just can’t. My hat’s off to them. They really took us out of some things we wanted to do. But when we had opportunities we didn’t take advantage of it.”
Dunbar returns to the Class 1A state championship game where they will meet New Town next Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
The Railroaders had 187 yards of offense — 181 which came through the air — while Dunbar earned 411 yards, 343 on the ground. Coleman Blackston was the Poets leading rusher with 186 yards on 28 carries.
Quarterback Collin Nusbaum went 16-for-32 for 181 yards for Brunswick and finished his career four completions shy of the single-season state record of 292. Teammate Blaine Price had five catches for 39 yards. He ended the season with 134 receptions for 1,753 yards, both state records. He also holds the state record for career receiving yards with 3,519.
“It’s my 12th year playing football and it’s a little upsetting knowing I’m not playing in college,” Nussbaum said. “Every other sport you can play again, but football, there’s nothing like high school football. I’m going to miss it.”
Dunbar opened the game with a 61-yard scoring drive. Brunswick followed with a trip to the red zone but David Moore fumbled on a second-and-goal rush from the 5-yard line and the Poets recovered.
The Poets didn’t score again until their final possession of the half. Two plays after JaQuan Holt intercepted a tipped pass from Nusbaum, Dominic Miller ran the ball 30 yards for a score.
Brunswick’s only points came on a 42-yard pass from Nusbaum to Kyle Coats with 1 minute, 44 seconds left in the third quarter. Dunbar scored 24 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.
“They were really well coached,” Nusbaum said. “We knew they’d be athletic, but they were definitely bigger than I expected.”
Dunbar 40, Brunswick 8
Brunswick 0 0 8 0 — 8
Dunbar 8 8 0 24 — 40
Dun — Coleman Blackston 27 run (JaQuan Holt 2-point run)
Dun — Dominic Miller 30 run (JaQuan Holt 2-point run)
Brun — Kyle Coats 42 pass from Collin Nusbaum (Timmy Harrison 2-point pass from Collin Nusbaum)
Dun — Coleman Blackston 17 run (2-point run failed)
Dun — Paki Brown 1 run (2-point run failed)
Dun — Aaron Savage 3 run (2-point pass failed)
Dun — Wilbur Young 16 fumble return (2-point pass failed)
Brunswick — Collin Nusbaum 16-32-181-1, Timmy Harrison 0-1-0-1
Dunbar — William Crest 4-7-68-1
Brunswick — David Moore 10-20, Collin Nusbaum 9-(-14)
Dunbar — Coleman Blackston 28-186, JaQuan Holt 9-47, Dominic Miller 4-41, Paki Brown 6-22, William Crest 3-18, Leland Lassiter 1-16, Aaron Savage 3-13
Brunswick — Kyle Coats 4-75, Jake Struss 5-59, Blaine Price 5-39, David Moore 2-8
Dunbar — Oliver Robinson 1-45, Eddie Nelson 2-12, Dominic Miller 1-11