For nearly four quarters, Douglass running back Tony Fisher powered his Ducks to Forest Park's front door. With time getting short, however, teammate Fred West finally knocked it down.
The game was scoreless and 1 minute, 38 seconds were left to play when West caught a bomb from quarterback Qwindell Ford and turned it into a 70-yard touchdown, the game's only score.
Then, on defense in the final minute, West made an interception to lead visiting Douglass to a 6-0 victory in a pivotal City West Division battle.
"I just tried to get open, and then when I did, he just threw a good pass," said West. "It probably took them by surprise. They probably thought we were going to run the ball at them. But we came at them with a pass, and it opened up."
Added Douglass coach David White: "I think they were sort of looking for the run and looking to play overtime."
West's two big plays ended a fierce battle of field position that saw both teams make key defensive stands.
Most frustrating for Forest Park (3-2 overall, 1-1 in the league), however, was the fact that the game's only scoring play never would have taken place if it hadn't been for a decision by Foresters coach Obie Barnes.
On a third-and-6 from their own 40, the Ducks (4-1, 2-0) were whistled for holding on an incomplete pass. Faced with the option of sending them to fourth down or backing them up 10 yards, Barnes chose the latter.
"I'll take this loss," said Barnes. "I wanted to back them up and then go with my punt block and try to get the field position. We couldn't sustain a drive, so I thought if we got good field position, we could punch it in. I gambled and lost."
For most of the game, however, Douglass had to deal with the bulk of the frustration.
Fisher gained large chunks of yardage all afternoon, finishing with 157 yards on 31 carries. Douglass drove inside the Foresters' 20 four times, only to be stopped.
Near the end of the first half, the Fisher-led Ducks drove to the Forest Park 3-yard line -- and time ran out.
"It was very frustrating," said Douglass' White. "This program has been down so much and we've been losers so long that you almost say it's going to happen again. But we have some very good athletes on this team and kids who just wanted to win."
Led by running backs Chris Cummings and Raschid Smith, Forest Park had two sustained drives in the second half.
The Foresters got as close as the 18 on the first before failing to convert on a fourth-and-5. They drove to the 20 on the second sequence before failing on a fourth-and-16.
Pub Date: 10/03/98