By Anthony Rhoads
It wasn't the prettiest football game that's ever been played but the Morrow Mustangs defeated Forest Park 12-6 Saturday at Twelve Oaks Stadium.
Fumbles and penalties abounded in the contest. The teams combined for more than 125 penalty yards and 13 fumbles.
Forest Park had seven fumbles, losing four, while Morrow had six fumbles, losing three.
"It was ugly but it was a win," Morrow head coach Dorwyn Lyles said. "We've got a lot to work on and improve. We've got to work through some issues with our execution. Neither team could get anything going. We had some big plays early and our defense held them the rest of the way."
It marked the first time since 1998 that Morrow has opened with a victory. That year was also the last time Morrow beat Forest Park.
"We needed the win," Lyles said. "This is the first time in a long time we've started a season with a win here at Morrow. We'll enjoy this and get ready for Riverdale."
Morrow took a 6-0 lead when Reginald Williams ran 55 yards for a touchdown with 2:19 remaining in the first quarter. Williams finished with 116 yards on 13 carries.
Lajuan Raines extended Morrow's lead to 12-0 on a 33-yard run as time expired in the first quarter. Raines, the quarterback, finished with 70 yards on five carries.
Claude Williams also had a solid night running the ball for Morrow. He gained 65 yards on 13 carries.
Forest Park was able to cut into Morrow's lead early in the second quarter.
Quarterback Darryl Miller ran 58 yards for a touchdown with 10:09 remaining in the first half.
Miller led Forest Park with 66 yards on 12 carries. He completed 3-of-7 passes for 29 passes and tossed one interception.
The interception came with about eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
Morrow's Paul Douville intercepted the pass and ran 72 yards for a touchdown but the play was called back on a penalty.
Morrow leads the series with Forest Park 18-11. The teams didn't play in 2002 or 2003 but Forest Park beat Morrow 9-7 in 2001.
Scoring by quarters
M ? 12 0 0 0 ? 12
F ? 0 6 0 0 ? 6
M n Reginald Williams 55 run 2:19 (kick failed)
M n Lajuan Raines 33 run :00 (kick failed)
F n Darryl Miller 58 run 10:09 (run failed)