Forest Park pushes past Douglass, advances to 1A state football quarterfinals; Williams lead charge (VIDEO HERE!)

Ryshayae Williams put Forest Park football on its back Friday afternoon. The senior returned a punt 55 yards for a touchdown and made a specatular 41-yard catch, leading to another score as the Foresters defeated Douglass for a spot in next week’s Class 1A state quarterfinals.

by Demetrius Dillard

Special to VSN

Back in the summer, Ryshayae Williams believed Forest Park High football was destined for big things this season.

Thanks to him, the Foresters are in pursuit of a state championship, Forest Park defeated Douglass, 14-0, in the second round of the Class 1A South Region playoffs in Baltimore City.

The Foresters (7-4 overall) from West Baltimore are headed to West – Western Maryland – next Friday. Forest Park will play at Cumberland’s Mountain Ridge, in a state quarterfinal contest.

The Foresters are advancing behind a typical Baltimore City Division II match where defense rules and offensive consistency is rare.

“We were able to play a good game today. Offensively we struggled, but defensively we played a very good game and pretty much pitched a shutout today,” Forest Park coach Sean Markley said.

Williams had the two biggest plays Friday – a scintillating 55-yard punt return for a touchdown at the end of the first half and a 41-yard reception at the end of the third quarter, leading to the game’s other score.

“On that punt return it was all about focus, I gotta get to that end zone, gotta do everything for my team just to make sure they get this [win]. It’s always a team effort,” Williams said.

“We expected to be here back in August,” he added, “we expect to take it all the way.”

Foresters quarterback Kyren Newsome made a 41-yard heave down the right sideline that Williams went up and brought down. Newsome called his number from five yards out, putting Forest Park ahead 14-0 heading into the fourth.

Douglass (2-7) advanced to the red zone once in the fourth, but was unable to capitalize. Another effort by the Ducks to close the deficit was halted when quarterback De’andre Jones was intercepted by Keyon Williams with less than five minutes remaining in regulation.

During the regular season, Forest Park, which won the City League’s Division II crown, grinded it out an 8-6 victory.

Douglass coach Alonzo Lee was pleased with progress his squad made this fall.

“I think we played well defensively. Offensively, we just couldn’t get it going,” said Lee, whose team knocked off Reginald Lewis in the opening round last weekend. “If I was to summarize this season, it’s a season of growth. I think we grew and we understood that No. 1, discipline will win games; No. 2, we got to grind in the offseason. This is a 12-month sport… I think it’s all going to come together.”

Class 1A South Region playoffs

Second round

Forest Park 14, Douglass 0

Forest Park 0 8 6 0 — 14

Douglass 0 0 0 0 — 0

Second quarter

Williams 55 punt return (conversion run)

Third quarter

Newsome 5 run (pass failed)