September 30, 2011

Dunn turns in heroic effort

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One of the big stories heading into Thursday night's clash between Stark County powers Canton McKinley and Canton GlenOak was the status of GlenOak running back Bri'onte Dunn. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound workhorse suffered an undisclosed hip injury last week and was a game-time decision. After carrying the ball just two times in the first three quarters for three total yards, Dunn was shelved for the second and third quarters. However, Dunn stepped up in a big way in the fourth quarter, carrying the ball 15 times for 68 yards and scoring the go-ahead touchdown in the final period to keep GlenOak undefeated at 6-0 with a 16-7 win.

"This feels so good," said Dunn of the win. "Beating Massillon at Massillon and beating McKinley at McKinley, I'm just so proud of myself and my team. I'm just happy right now."

Dunn's injury kept him out of practice all week, but he dug deep with his team trailing 7-3 heading into the fourth quarter and powered his way down the field, capping off GlenOak's first drive of the quarter with a 3-yard touchdown run to put the Eagles up for good, 9-7.

"I have a little injury and coach didn't want me jeopardizing my career," Dunn said. "I just ran in there and he didn't say anything to me so I just played. I just had to go out there for my team and (Garcia) looked at me and he didn't say anything so I just stayed in there."

GlenOak head coach Scott Garcia has coached Dunn the last three seasons and has seen his big-time back do some incredible things on the football field. Thursday night, however, was something Garcia had never seen out of him before.

"He's grown up so much," Garcia explained. "Last year, two years ago, he couldn't have done what he did tonight. He's really matured. He was in and out of the huddles and he stayed with his teammates and he was a vocal leader tonight. He's a special kid."

The win puts GlenOak in a strong position for the post-season as the Eagles seem like a virtual lock to host a first round game now. Dunn called this game one of the most satisfying victories of his career.

"This ranks in the top five for sure," Dunn said. "This was a big game against McKinley and I'm so happy for this win. I'm proud of my teammates, too."

On the recruiting front, not much has changed for Dunn recently. He maintains his status as a verbal commitment to Ohio State and he will be checking out the Buckeyes on Saturday for their Big Ten opener.

"Saturday I'm going to the Ohio State/Michigan State game," he said. "I'm just going down (on an unofficial visit). I might not take my official visits until after the season."


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