Ayers goes wild in win
Nathan Ayers accounted for 30 points in Dunbar's 34-25 come-from-behind win over Forestville in the region semifinals.
Add in 340 yards, and Ayers also earns MDVarsity.com's State Player of the Week honors.
With Dunbar down 12-0, the Poets shifted its offense to what coaches call "Wild Owl" _ -- their variation on the Wildcat offense_ in which Ayers takes the snaps.
"Coach Travis [Blackston] put this offense in during the middle of the year and he might have run it once or twice during the year," head coach Lawrence Smith said. "When he called the package we saw it caused some confusion in the second quarter. They didn't adjust to it so we continued to run it."
The offense worked as Ayers rushed for 340 yards, four touchdowns and three two-point conversions in the win -- converting plays into points on touchdown runs of 42, 66, 33 and 20 yards.
With Dunbar down 25-18 in the third quarter, Ayers' 33-yard touchdown run and two-point conversion put the Poets up for good, 26-25. His 57-yard touchdown sealed the victory and helped Dunbar advance to the 1A South Region final against Forest Park.
Ayers is one of the few seniors on this year's Dunbar team. The 5-foot-9, 190-pound senior was the fullback on last year's championship team, paving the way for Tavon Austin and Devon Muse.
"He came in and wanted to come in and keep the job going," Smith said. Ayers holds offers from Towson, Morgan State, Central Michigan, Toledo and UNLV.
To be considered for Player of the Week honors, make sure to submit an athlete's performance for Top Performances each week. To submit a Top Performance e-mail Mike Loveday at Mike.Loveday.ESPN@gmail.com
Submissions must come from a coach, team statistician or newspaper. Please include your name in submissions so all performances can be verified.
To see a complete list of MDVarsity.com State Players of the Week, Click HERE.
ESPNRise encourages comments from its users. Leave a comment below. Mike Loveday covers high school sports for ESPNRISE.com. Mike can be reached at Michael.Loveday@espn.com