By Anthony Rhoads
Last year, the Forest Park Panthers won a hard-fought, epic 17-16 battle over Woodward Academy.
The 2003 meeting between the two Region 4-AAAA teams was not exactly the same type of contest as Woodward defeated Forest Park 38-13 at Tara Stadium Saturday night.
Woodward (2-0) controlled the game from the start. On Forest Park's first play from scrimmage, Woodward recovered a Panther fumble and four plays later, the War Eagles took a 7-0 advantage when Tayo Tinubu scored on a 7-yard run.
"Woodward is very tough and very disciplined," Forest Park head coach Howard Stearns said. "We're going to have to come out here and be ready to play anybody no matter who they are. We thought we were something we weren't after playing Lovejoy tough (in week one). But you can't do that in football; you have to be ready to play that night."
Forest Park (0-2) had a few highlights in the game, primarily because of wide receiver Anthony Harvey.
Harvey caught three passes for 134 yards, including an 88-yard touchdown at the 4:44 mark of the second quarter.
In the third quarter, he made a leaping catch for a 44-yard reception.
"He's by far our best player," Stearns said. "We just have to get a good supporting cast around him. We'll get there."
Woodward led 14-7 at the half but opened the game up in third quarter with 17 points. Woodward added another touchdown in the fourth to lead 38-7.
Forest Park managed to score on its last drive when Jonathan Robinson ran in 12 yards for a touchdown with 1:08 remaining in the game.
Woodward Academy quarterback Jordan Lyons had a stellar night. He completed 7-of-16 passes for 114 yards but he was more effective on the ground.
He ran 11 times for 136 yards including a touchdown run of 33 yards. He also had runs of 22 and 45 yards. Tinubu gained 79 yards with two touchdowns.
The Woodward defense stifled Forest Park's offense for much of the night. Up until Forest Park's final drive, the Panthers had only five yards rushing on the night and only four first downs.
Up next: Forest Park travels to Mableton to play plays Pebblebrook Friday for a region game.
Last year, Forest Park lost 23-0 to the Falcons in a game that was played over two days. The game began on a Saturday at Tara Stadium and after the first half, the contest was postponed because of lightning. The game was then completed the following Monday at Twelve Oaks Stadium.
Pebblebrook goes into this week with a 1-0 record. On Sept. 5, the Falcons beat Rome 9-7.