Look what he’s Dunn, again: N. DeSoto latest program coach turns into contender

Published 1:00 pm Thursday, December 1, 2022

Success follows Dennis Dunn wherever he goes.

He won four district championships in five years at Woodlawn-Shreveport. From 1992 to 2005, he turned Evangel Christian into a national power, winning nine state championships. Then it was on to Louisiana Christian University where he led the Wildcats for 11 seasons and 65 wins, including seven consecutive winning seasons and their first since 1961.

After a brief two-year stop at Pineville, Dunn landed at North DeSoto. The Griffins went 4-6 in his first season in 2019. But with his first group of four-year seniors, the Griffins are 11-1 and in the semifinals for the first time in program history.

Email newsletter signup

“I think you have seniors that were here from day one when I first got here,” Dunn said. “You have a class that has bought into the culture and thought process of ways things need to be done.

“And it is the leadership in our organization from seniors down. We have a player-led team. The old saying is ‘if you have a coach-led team you can be pretty good, but if you have a player-led team you have a chance to be great.’ That is what our seniors have provided us.”

No. 4 North DeSoto travels to play No. 1 Iowa (11-1) on Friday.

“I don’t think these kids will realize what has happened until maybe a few years down the road,” Dunn said. “It has really brought the community together. The whole community is just engaged in what is going on. It has been a beautiful thing to watch.”

The Griffins prefer a power run game led by a pair of 1,000-yard backs in John Lewis and Brian Banks, but they can air it out too. Freshman quarterback Luke Delafield has thrown for 2,116 yards and 34 touchdowns.

“We have had success taking advantage of whatever the opponent has given us,” Dunn said. “If we have a light box, we run it. If it is a heavy box, there are some things we like in the passing game.

“I think that is what most people try to do, take what the defense gives us. Our approach has helped us because we are able to do both pretty adequately.”

Dunn said he likes the matchup between the Griffins’ defensive line led by Jordan Milton (64 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks) and Marques Hampton (58 tackles, 9 TFL, 5.5 sacks) and the Yellow Jackets’ offensive line. The Griffins allow 14.8 points per game.

“The defensive line has been our strength all year,” Dunn said. “I think this matchup with Iowa is strength on strength. We think their strength is the offensive line, and they are, obviously, very good defensively, too. Our strength has been our front defensively, so it should be a great matchup.”