Reginald Lewis drops Forest Park in battle of football unbeatens (VIDEO HERE!!)
The 2017 season looked to be one of transition for Reginald Lewis High football. Its coach left during the off-season after just one year. Arguably the Falcons’ best player transferred, and several other key players graduated.
Lewis hasn’t missed a beat and is on path for another championship. The Falcons defeated Forest Park, 34-0, in a Baltimore City Division II contest at Northwestern.
Senior quarterback Jamaal Douglass threw three scoring passes for Lewis (7-0 overall, 6-0 Division II), and running back Andre Darby had a pair of short touchdown runs. Senior wide receiver Daquan Benjamin finished with six catches for 94 yards and two scores.
In a matchup of the city’s only undefeated squads, Reginald Lewis built a 22-0 halftime advantage, taking a major step towards a second straight Division II crown. Last season, the Northern Parkway school went 11-1 and reached the Class 1A South Region final.
Coach Elwood Townsend, who spearheaded the turnaround (Lewis won four games in 2015) after a successful run at Douglass, left for Woodlawn. The Falcons lost 26 players off their roster with Alfonzo Graham, one of their main offensive threats, transferring to Dunbar.
“When Elwood left, a lot of people counted these kids out,” said Lewis coach Emanuel Glover, who served as offensive line coach last fall. “We have some great student athletes who work hard and actually can play football.”
“You got to have a bond before you have anything. It’s unity,” said Falcon linebacker Kavon Kingsborough. “If you don’t have unity, you can’t accomplished nothing.”
Kingsborough recovered a fumble, part of another shutout performance by Lewis (fifth shutout in seven decisions; have allowed 12 points total). Markell Toney recorded a sack, and senior Jaquan Tillman added an interception.
The Falcons went 65 yards in eight plays on the game’s opening drive, capped with Darby’s one-yard score. Tillman’s interception and 45-yard return down the sidelines to Forest Park’s 15 helped set up Lewis’ next score – a 9-yard pass from Douglass (10-of-20, 145 yards) to Benjamin on 4th down.
The Falcons gave their rival a jarring blow as Malik Green got a short pass from Douglas got into the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown with 11 seconds left in the opening half. Forest Park aided the drive with an unsportsmanlike and too many players on field penalties on back-to-back plays.
The Foresters (5-1, 5-1 Division II) had more than 100 yards in penalties Friday, including five for roughing the passer. Forest Park finished with 34 yards on offense.
“They out-played us in every aspect of the game,” said Foresters coach Sean Markley, whose team suffered its first 2016 loss to Lewis last fall. “A lot of penalties, poor tackling, couldn’t convert positive yards on first down…just a lot of mistakes.”
Reginald Lewis, which went 10-0 last regular season, owns the area’s current longest regular season win streak with 19. The Falcons have Bluford Drew Jemison, Southwestern and National Academy Foundation remaining in the regular season.
“We need to finish what we had last year,” said Kingsborough, whose team to Edmondson in the South final. “We had last year was good, we plan on finishing it this year.”
Reginald Lewis 34, Forest Park 0
Reginald Lewis 8 14 6 6 – 34
Forest Park 0 0 0 0 – 0
Reginald Lewis – Darby 1 run (Benjamin pass from Wagner)
Reginald Lewis – Benjamin 9 pass from Douglas (Wagner kick)
Reginald Lewis – Green 20 pass from Douglas (Wagner kick)
Reginald Lewis – Darby 1 run (kick failed)
Reginald Lewis – Benjamin 18 pass from Douglass (kick failed)