By Phil Albert
Special to the Daily
Rodney Brown and Scott Christensen had nights to remember for the Dutchtown Bulldog defense, as the Bulldogs spoiled Forest Park's Homecoming night of festivities in a 36-0 rout Thursday evening at Tara Stadium.
Brown had several tackles for losses and Christensen had two pass interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, as the Bulldogs improved to 6-2 overall, setting a school record for most wins in one season.
Still, the Bulldogs are fifth in Region 4-AAAA heading into the final two games of the regular season against the region's top two teams, Griffin and North Clayton.
At linebacker, Brown blitzed in and filled the holes up the middle for the Bulldog defense. On several plays, he raced untouched into the Panther secondary for tackles.
"It was a team effort," he said. "I got downhill and the line gave me the holes."
Christensen had two of Forest Park quarterback Jameyon Williamson's four interceptions.
"I read his eyes," he said, also noting that Brown helped on one of the interceptions.
"I knocked the receiver off his route," Brown said.
Forest Park had five turnovers and was held to just 66 yards in total offense, 55 coming in the second half. Half of the yardage came on one pass play late in the first half. The Panthers committed another 50 yards in penalties.
The Panthers had minus-31 rushing yards in the first half and finished with minus-5 yards for the night. Williamson finished 7-of-14 passing for 71 yards and four interceptions.
Dutchtown finished with 196 yards offensively, 106 coming in the first half. Quarterback Trey Nelson finished 2-of-5 through the air, both completions coming on successive plays late in the third quarter. Kelvin Tanner had 15 rushes for 68 yards to lead the running attack.
Jamaal Watkins got the scoring started with 1:47 remaining in the first quarter. His 17-yard burst for the touchdown capped a seven-play, 51-yard drive. Ryan Kay's extra point gave the visitors a 7-0 lead.
Kay barely missed wide on a 57-yard field goal atempt with 8:27 remaining in the first half. Also a punter, he booted a 50-yard punt in the second half and another of over 40 yards in the first half.
Another seven-play drive resulted in Dutchtown's second touchdown of the night with Tanner capping the drive on a 1-yard run. He had runs of 11 and 10 yards on the drive. Kay's second extra point upped the lead to 14-0 with 3:03 remaining.
Thirty seconds later, on third down from its 20, Forest Park was guilty of a bad snap from center that went into the Panther end zone. Bulldog Demitri Curry recovered in the end zone and Kay's extra point upped the margin to 21-0.
Forest Park still had a chance to score, thanks to Dutchtown untimely penalties.
Williamson's pass to Austin Smith of 33 yards moved the ball to the Dutchtown 37. Dutchtown was whistled for two unsportsmanlike penalties, moving the ball to the 11 with just 40 seconds remaining in the half. But two plays later, Christensen stepped up for his first interception, stopping Forest Park's drive.
Christensen's second interception was returned 35 yards for another Dutchtown touchdown with 5:10 remaining in the third quarter. Nelson scored on a two-point conversion, giving the visitors a 29-0 lead.
Dutchtown capped the scoring on the final play of the third quarter. A 41-yard pass play from Nelson to Watkins placed the ball at the Panther 24, and on the very next play, Nelson threw to Ryan Cason for the touchdown. Kay added his final extra point.
On a negative note, Dutchtown was whistled for 111 yards in penalties.