To outsiders, the resurgence of Fort Worth Dunbar might come as a surprise.
The Wildcats, who went 5-6 last year, are 4-0 this season and 2-0 in District 6-4A.
And theyre coming off a 49-44 win last Friday over Birdville, a team they lost to 42-17 a season ago. But their early season success hasnt been a shock to those within the program.
Believe me, [beating Birdville] is a good win, Dunbar coach Todd Lawson said. But like I always say, Dunbar controls their own destiny. All we have to do is ask our guys is to be focused and be coachable.
Still, Lawson didnt understate the importance of beating Birdville (2-2, 0-2 in 6-4A), an annual contender for the district title.
Overall, this was a playoff game for us, Lawson said. Basically, all the Fort Worth city teams have had trouble with teams outside of the  loop. Last year, we could give them some fits, but we were kind of short-handed.
That hasnt been the case this year. Dunbar features a handful of talented skill players on offense, two of whom clinched Fridays game in the final seconds.
LaQuarrian Peoples connected with DaVonta Kinney for a 30-yard touchdown pass with 4 seconds left to give Dunbar the win over Birdville. It was a wild end to a game that had more than 900 yards of combined offense and eight turnovers.
Xavier Turners 1-yard touchdown run with 41 seconds left seemed to seal it for Birdville, giving the Hawks a 44-43 lead.
At that point, Dunbar needed a quick drive to get into field-goal range. That wasnt the biggest hurdle to overcome for a Wildcats offense that was effective all night, scoring touchdowns on one-play drives three times.
We had our playmakers on the field and they were going to do what they were going to do, Lawson said. We were really comfortable with it.
In the end, it came down to Dunbars talent against Birdvilles talent. Lawson said thats a position his team wants to be in.
It was going to come down to our guy vs. their guy, Lawson said. Weve been preaching to them just to stay focused and be coachable. If you do those two things, youll be fine.
Trinity avoids 0-3 start
Euless Trinity coach Steve Lineweaver knew last Fridays game at Bentonville, Ark., wouldnt affect the Trojans shot at a district title.
But the 61/2-hour drive back to Texas felt a lot better for Lineweaver and his team after they beat Bentonville 21-13 for their first win of the season.
I dont know how you can put this on paper, but its just like a tremendous exhale, Lineweaver said.
It sure helps the spirit when you come home on a positive note.
Christian Hammack connected with Inoke Langi for a 7-yard touchdown pass that put Trinity (1-2) up 21-10 with 2:55 remaining.
Trinitys victory followed losses to Jenks (Okla.) and DeSoto to open the year.
Now the Trojans turn their attention toward District 6-5A play, which begins Friday against Colleyville Heritage (2-1).
We can go clean slate now, Lineweaver said. Weve got to clean up our play.
Tigers bounce back
Mansfield coach Jeff Hulme said he and his staff kept preaching patience to their team Friday against South Grand Prairie.
The Tigers practiced that, and it paid off in the form of a 14-7 win over the Warriors.
Caleb Evans connected with Braylon Royal for a 39-yard touchdown pass to break a tie with 3:08 left in the game.
Mansfield moved to .500 (2-2) and 1-0 in District 7-5A. Hulme said his team put the so-so start to the season behind it and embraced the chance to start district play in the right direction.
Some teams buy into that, and some dont, Hulme said. Our guys definitely have.
Mansfield plays Mansfield Timberview (4-0, 1-0 District 7-5A) on Friday.
Mansfield Timberview defensive backs Edward Paris Jr. and Brandon Simmons will receive their U.S. Army All-American jerseys at a school ceremony on Thursday.
Paris and Simmons were among 90 players from across the country selected to play in the annual all-star game on Jan. 4 at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Thursdays ceremony starts at 2 p.m.
Paris, an LSU commitment, and Simmons, a Stanford commitment, are highly touted among recruiting services. Both are four-stars on Rivals, ESPN and Scout. They each hold more than 20 FBS offers.
Be sure to check out the fan vote for Player of the Week at dfwVarsity.com. The winner will be named in Thursdays section.
Special to the S-T<137>/Sharon Ellman<137>
Dunbar’s LaQuarrian Peoples, avoiding Birdville’s Bobby Mikus, threw a game-winning TD pass in the waning seconds against the Hawks.
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