By Doug Gorman
Forest Park running back Ronald Baker scored touchdowns on runs of 9 and 74 yards in the first half and teammate Brandon Rush added a third score late in the fourth quarter on an 11-yard run en route to a 21-14 win against Alexander on senior night.
The victory Saturday night at Twelve Oaks Stadium was the Panthers' first this season and the first for head coach Howard Stearns at Forest Park.
"I am so proud of this team," Stearns said. "The seniors never quit on me. They stuck with me through thick and thin."
The Panthers built a 14-0 lead at the break, holding Alexander's in check and allowing just one first down in the first two quarters.
Alexander had its chances early in the first half, blocking a punt and intercepting a pass, but the squad was unable to convert.
Forest Park set the tone for the game on just its second series of the game. Taking over at its own 10, the Panthers put together a 14-play, 90-yard drive.
Although most of the Forest Park's yardage came on the ground, quarterback Jarrell West completed a couple of big passes during the series.
The biggest came on a fourth down and 10 when he hit Josh Froneberger on a 14-yard pass, which gave the Panthers the ball inside the 10.
One play later Baker was in the end zone for the first of his scores.
Baker struck again right before the end of the first half when he broke lose up the middle and scampered 74-yards untouched into the end zone.
Brock Tedder scored both of Alexander's second-half touchdowns. His first with 8:07 remaining in the game came on a 62-yard run.
With 5:07 remaining, Rush answered Alexander's TDs with an 11-yard run to help Forest Park increase its lead to the final score.
With under a minute to go in the game Tedder scored on his second TD run of the game.
Alexander recovered the on-side kick, but it didn't roll the required 10 yards and Forest Park was awarded possession.