Smith’s late score wins it for Forest Park


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MANASSAS Despite not scoring a point for the first seven quarters of the 2002 season, Forest Park’s a .500 football team.

The Bruins’ offense clicked just in time Friday night, putting together touchdown drives in their last two possessions for a 13-6 victory at Stonewall Jackson. Forest Park had been shut out by Osbourn Park in its opener.

“We just all came out and realized we had to pick up our game,” said Forest Park senior tailback Reynold Smith, who scored the decisive 3-yard touchdown run with 1:58 remaining. “I was supposed to cut back to the left on my last run, but I made a split-second decision and went right. It all worked out right.”

After falling behind in the third quarter on a 6-yard touchdown run by Stonewall’s Chris Garrett, Forest Park (1-1) drew even at 6-6 with 9:24 left in the game.

The tying drive ended with quarterback Will Nance going seven yards on a third-and-one quarterback sneak.

Bruin kicker Brad Novak never had the opportunity to provide the go-ahead point because Nance, the holder, failed to handle the snap. Before a hold could be placed, the Raiders’ Cory Wheeler broke up the play.

Once the game was tied, Stonewall (0-2) gained no yards on

three plays and had to punt. Forest Park took over at its own 48 and proceeded to go on a drive that took 5:10. On the nine-play drive, Smith carried four times for 20 yards and fullback Robert Harper four times for 33 yards.

Harper led the Bruins with 72 yards on 11 carries. Smith, in his second year in the Forest Park program after transferring from Hayfield High School, finished with 33 yards on nine carries.

“Our momentum came back,” Smith said. “The last game [a 25-0 home loss to Osbourn Park], we just made a lot of silly mistakes.”

In the first half, both teams continued to struggle on offense. Like Forest Park, Stonewall was whitewashed in its first game 35-0 at Hylton. And at halftime Friday night, the Raiders managed just 87 yards of total offense to 27 for the Bruins. Of Forest Park’s 25 first-half plays, eight lost yardage and 10 went for positive yardage.

The teams played to a 0-0 tie at the half, although Stonewall’s Onyie Onunaku and Forest Park’s Alvin Parson each had an interception on the other team’s side of the field. After Parson’s first-quarter interception, the Bruins gained five yards to the Stonewall 37. After Onunaku’s second-quarter pickoff, his team lost 15 yards to the Forest Park 27.

For the game, Stonewall gained 183 yards and Forest Park won with 162.

“They kind of outplayed us there at the end,” Stonewall coach Jim Powell said. “We had hurts, cramps and dehydration. I definitely think they were better conditioned. I don’t think we took care of ourselves and we didn’t push them or coach them as we should have.”

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