By Yasmin Neal
It didn't take long for Forest Park to forget all about the 2004 season.
A slow-moving game played to the Panthers' pace on Friday as Forest Park put a winless year behind itself with a 20-13 victory over county rival Morrow at Twelve Oaks Stadium.
It was the beginning of a new era for both school's coaching staffs, with Steve Cole taking over as head coach for Forest Park, and Kennedy Holt leading Morrow for the first time.
Forest Park got the Cole Era started on a high note after starting disastrously.
The Panthers fell behind 13-0 after three periods, and it could have been worse had not a potential Morrow touchdown not been called back in the third quarter.
But Forest Park rallied behind three second-half touchdowns by quarterback Daryl Miller, including a pair on its first-two series of the fourth quarter to pull off a victory following an 0-10 season in 2004.
Morrow scored first to open the game on a run by Javares Dean, taking a 7-0 lead into the second quarter.
Defensively, however, the Panthers picked off two Morrow passes in the first half, allowing Forest Park to stay within range.
The second pick on Morrow's second series of the second quarter, Mustangs quarterback Marlon Riddick's pass intended for Lawrence Glover was picked off by Forest Park's Larry McCarden.
Forest Park, however, equally caught a pair of breaks to open the second half. The Panthers began the third quarter by immediately fumbling the ball over to the Mustangs.
Morrow drove down the field and appeared to score when Demetrius Williams ran the ball in for an apparent touchdown. But it was waved off by officials due to a flag on the play for an illegal block.
The Mustangs still managed to convert late in the third when Williams hit Geoffrey Glover for a touchdown, though Terez McClerty's kick missed the mark.
During Forest Park's first series in the fourth, Edima Ufot scored a touchdown for the Panthers to cut the Morrow lead to 13-7 with 10:49 left in the game.
Morrow staved off a potential go-ahead score after Forest Park's got the ball back, when Miller ripped through the Mustang defense on a touchdown run that was called back for a penalty.
But the Panthers called Miller's number again, this time running it minus yellow flags for the go-ahead touchdown, tying the game 13-13 with 6:21 left on the clock.
Miller score the go-ahead touchdown for the Panthers on a down field footrace. The extra point by Alfonzo Dolores was good and the score was 20-13.