Forest Park High football coach Damon Bomar admitted he wasn’t overwhelmed with the scouting video on Forestville. As the Knights controlled play early in Saturday’s Class 1A South Region semifinals, Bomar and the Foresters realized looks can be deceiving.
The Foresters recovered from the Prince George’s County squad’s initial salvo, posting a 32-14 victory at Poly’s Lumsden-Scott. Forest Park will meet No. 10 Dunbar for the region title Saturday at 1 p.m. at Poly.
Antwon Harmon rushed for 110 yards and a pair of second half touchdown runs for the unbeaten Foresters (11-0 overall), and Andrew Allen threw for a score and recovered two fumbles. Akeel Randolph returned a fumble 22 yards for another Forest Park touchdown.
The west Baltimore school scored twice within a minute in the second half to gain the lead before pulling away for Forestville (6-5) with a pair of fourth quarter scores. Bomar was pleased with win but not much else.
“We underestimated them,” said Bomar, who’s 22-1 in two seasons as Foresters coach. “They came out and hit us in the mouth and we had to respond. It was a struggle, a very sloppy game on our end with a lot of unnecessary penalties. We will start cleaning those up Monday.”
“The second quarter we have a tendency to come back and strike because we come out lackadaisical in the first quarter,” said Flowers. “We always come back with fire if you punch us in the mouth.”
Flowers, a senior, was the match in the Foresters’ rally, grabbing an Allen pass on the right sidelines and took a Forestville defender a couple of yards into the end zone with 3 minutes, 47 seconds left before halftime. Hakeem Holland followed with the two-point conversion run for the lead.
Two plays later, Randolph scooped up a Johnthan Harris’ fumble and raced 22 yards down the sidelines, extending the lead to 16-7 with 2:59 left in the second. It was the first of four fumble recoveries by the Foresters.
“We had a couple of guys injured so we had to make adjustments,” said Randolph. “We were able to get through.”
Forestville pulled to within 16-14 late in the third quarter, but fumbled on its next possession. The Foresters went nine plays in 45 yards as Harmon powered from six yards out from the left side.
Harmon concluded a short 36-yard drive with a two-yard run with 2:10 left in regulation. Harmon rushed for 88 yards over the final 24 minutes, picking the slack for Patrick Makell, who suffered an ankle sprain in the first half and didn’t return.
“He played the game of his life,” said Bomar, who credited the run blocking of Ryan Jolley, Brandon Johnson, Eric Chapman, Andre Allen and Frank Mandeng. “We knew they couldn’t stop our power series.”
It was once again heartbreak in Baltimore for Forestville. The previous four seasons, Dunbar ended the Knights’ season. Forestville coach Charles Harley said his team, minus standout running back and defensive back, made too many mistakes.
“Once he got hurt, we started to drop the ball, turn the ball over,” said Harley, whose team got a one-yard touchdown from Kwasi Washington and a Washington five-yard scoring pass to Ricardo Smith. “This is untypical of a Forestville team.”
What’s typical is Dunbar dominating the South Region, including a 20-0 victory over Foresters in last season’s finals. Forest Park will try to end the Poets’ seven-year reign Saturday.
“In order for us to be the champions we have to beat the champions,” said Bomar. “We have to go through them.”
CLICK RELATED VIDEOS TAB FOR GAME HIGHLIGHTS/INTERVIEWS
|Forest Park 32, Forestville 14|
|F-Washington 1 run (Joly kick)|
|FP-Flowers 57 pass from Allen (Holland run)|
|FP-Randolph 22 fumble return (Holland run)|
|F-Smith 5 pass from Washington (Joly kick)|
|FP-Harmon 6 run (Mandeng kick)|
|FP-Harmon 2 run (Mandeng kick)|
|FP-Safety (Smith sack in end zone)|