Don't look now, but Paul Laurence Dunbar is on a winning streak. The Bulldogs beat visiting East Jessamine 28-7 Friday night for a second win in a row.
That modest streak hasn't been done by the Bulldogs since 2009.
"It feels real good to get one; it feels real good to finally get that feeling of winning around here," Coach Derrick Thomas said. "So we've got that hunger back. Got that good feeling back."
Emory Thompson ran for one touchdown and passed for another. Antwan Williams had a TD among his 153 rushing yards (14 carries).
"It feels great. But we expect it," said Thompson, who completed nine of 16 passes for 94 yards and ran 10 times for 22 yards. "We came out hyped, firing on all cylinders. We just tried to do it throughout the game, all phases of the game."
Taylor Smith was Thompson's favorite target, making five catches for 62 yards.
East Jessamine (0-3) scored its first win over a Lexington team when it beat Dunbar 34-20 last season.
This season, the Jaguars have scored 20 points in three games. However, they gained 231 yards after averaging 73.5 in their first two tries.
They did so with Ronnie Carson at quarterback. Skyler Rose, who had been the starter, will have ankle surgery next week and is out for the season.
"The kid played his heart out. I can't say enough good things about Ronnie Carson," Coach Mike Bowlin said. "And I'm excited where we're going with things now. I think our team may have found a little rhythm and our stats are obviously much better. We didn't win the game but we got some things done offensively that we never really did in the first two games."
Carson completed only one of five passes (for a loss of 3 yards), but ran 22 times for 101 yards, including a touchdown. Blake Hinkle added 107 yards on nine carries.
"Our kids kept fighting. We're the Rocky Balboa — we just keep coming at you," Bowlin said. "We're not real big but our guys just keep fighting and they keep making me proud."
Dunbar (2-1) led 21-0 at halftime.
Thompson scored on a 1-yard sneak and connected with J'Maurion Dunn for a 6-yard TD. In between those scores, Williams turned a draw play into a 65-yard TD sprint.
"I had some blockers," Williams said. "I went backside, turned it up and didn't let the safety catch me."
Thompson's sneak came two plays after Chris Allen recovered an East Jessamine fumble. The first play was a Thompson-to-Mark Taylor pass that covered 45 yards.
Later in the first quarter, Nathan Wells recovered another Jaguars fumble. That led to Williams' TD with 24 seconds left in the quarter.
Dunn's score came on third-and-goal with 2:38 left in the half.
"The key tonight, the guys came out intense, they came out aggressive," Thomas said. "And they really came out emotionally hyped and ready to go."
East pulled to within 21-7 on Carson's 17-yard run with 1:56 left in the third quarter. A play earlier, Hinkle broke a 73-yard run.
The Jags had nothing left, though, and Darien Hardaway's 8-yard scoring run with 1:20 left restored a three-touchdown margin.
East turned the ball over four times — three fumbles and an interception — to one for Dunbar.
Andre Jones led the winners with 81/2 tackles, including two for losses. Kahnen Leslie led East Jessamine with 71/2 tackles.
East Jessamine 0 0 7 0—7
Paul Dunbar 14 7 0 7—28
PLD—Emory Thompson 1 run (Levi Clark kick); PLD—Antwan Williams 65 run (Clark kick); PLD—J'Maurion Dunn 6 pass from Thompson (Clark kick); EJ—Ronnie Carson 17 run (Clay Harrison kick); PLD—Darien Hardaway 8 run (Clark kick).
Records: East Jessamine 0-3; Dunbar 2-1.
Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Twitter: @markmaloneyhl. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com