D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - The entire community was still in a state of shock Saturday, following the loss a young man who died playing the game he loved.
"It kind of feels like a bad dream that I just can't wake up from," said D'Iberville running back Justin Brister.
The Friday Night fanfare ended in an instant during at the D'Iberville vs. Gautier game.
"When he got up, he took about 15 steps, and then he collapsed," said D'Iberville head coach Buddy Singleton.
"I didn't know what to think; I didn't think it was nothing major," said D'Iberville quarterback Garrett Landrum.
"They rolled him over and cut his jersey off," Brister said.
When Latrell "Fred" Dunbar was taken from the field in an ambulance officials considered bringing the game to a halt, but Warriors' coach Buddy Singleton left that decision up to his players.
"The word I heard was 'We wanna win it for Fred!' That was the battle cry," Singleton said.
With their friend on the way to the hospital, Warrior football players channeled their grief into action.
"We knew we had to do it for him," Landrum said.
Facing second half deficits twice after Dunbar's collapse, D'Iberville banded together.
Dunbar was a junior fullback, who shared a special bond with running back Justin Brister, who wasn't about to let his friend down.
"All I was thinking was, that I was going to score for him. And in the first period, he told me he wanted two touchdowns, and I got him two touchdowns," Brister said between sobs Saturday morning.
Brister's two touchdowns gave D'Iberville the win, but then the Warriors boarded the buses to head home with worry on their minds.
"Coming back on the bus, I got a phone call telling me he passed away," Singleton said.
Coach Singleton gathered his team when they arrived back home.
"I tried to say a few things to them to comfort them, but there's no way you can do that," Singleton said. "It's a situation I've never been in before, and it hit me real, real hard."
"Everyone just lost it as soon as they heard," Landrum said.
And this morning, the team tried to pick up the pieces.
"I guess God needed him on his football team more than we did," Singleton said.
"I'm just going to give 100 percent every game, just knowing that he's watching over us, and he'd want us to play hard for him," Brister said.
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By: Dave Schroeder