The Bears, ranked No. 10 in Class AAAA, defeated Jonesboro 34-33 but lost to Stockbridge 17-14. The Bears dispatched the other three teams pretty handily.
Griffin is off this week, but in typical Bears fashion the team practiced just as hard as it normally does. Bears head coach Steve DeVoursney said the goal for the week was to work on the fundamentals and stay as crisp as possible.
“We plan to brush up on things this week, doing everything we can to maintain our sharpness,” DeVoursney said. “We’ve put in a few things for North Clayton next week but we’ve mainly focused on us this week.”
DeVoursney said he felt the team played “all right” during the first six games of the season.
“Some of the games we were ready to play, some we were not, but overall we played pretty good before the bye,” he said. “I wish we could’ve finished a perfect 6-0 but for the most part the guys have done well.”
The players themselves felt they did well but said there’s more work to be done.
“It feels good that we’re 5-1. I’m confident we can stretch these next few games out,” said senior cornerback Jumarcus Smith. “We are bonding together as a team.”
Smith doesn’t worry about the guys getting overconfident even though their next three opponents (North Clayton, Upson-Lee, Spalding) have only 4 wins combined.
“You still have to get it done. Records don’t matter in this game; you’ve still got to go out and play,” he said.
Bears junior center Quyleen Barham said the Bears have played well, but there’s room for improvement.
“We can always do better. I think the loss to Stockbridge actually helped us to focus,” Barham said. “I think we’ll be much more focused from now on, starting next week.”
But there’s still the matter of getting better this week. Bears offensive coordinator Justin Rogers stressed the importance of getting back to the basics execution-wise. He didn’t like the way his offense carried out its plays against Riverdale last week.
“We started out good in the first half, but we got sloppy in the second,” Rogers said.
Bears defensive coordinator Rusty Easom was pleased with the way the defense played as a whole against Riverdale, especially in red-zone situations — they went 4-for-4 on red-zone stops. He said they executed well, made some great plays and seemed to stay focused throughout the majority of the game.
Easom said this week the defense is just trying to maintain that focus and work on learning the formations of their next opponent (North Clayton, Oct. 19, homecoming). And speaking of their next opponent, the Bears coaching staff will travel to Thomaston to check out North Clayton take on Upson-Lee Friday. Upson-Lee plays Griffin on Oct. 26.
With no game to play on Friday, Smith said football will still be at the forefront of his agenda. He’ll be watching whatever college football game is on that night.
“I will be watching college football and checking out the cornerbacks and focusing on what they do in the game,” Smith said. “You can get some ideas on how to get better at your position that way.”
(GDN Intern A.J. Flanigan contributed to this story.)
Region 4-AAAA Standings
School Region Overall PF PA
Stockbridge 1-0 5-1-0 18 11
Locust Grove 1-0 5-1-0 27 18
Dutchtown 0-1 4-2-0 30 19
Woodland-Stock. 0-0 1-4-0 18 29
E. Landing 0-1 0-6-0 25 39
School Region Overall PF PA
Griffin 2-0 5-1-0 35 17
Upson-Lee 1-0 3-2-0 29 22
Jonesboro 1-1 5-1-0 34 17
Riverdale 1-1 4-2-0 22 22
Spalding 0-1 1-3-1 10 17
N. Clayton 0-2 0-6-0 12 24
This Week’s Games
Spalding at Riverdale (Thurs.)
Locust Grove at Woodland
North Clayton at Upson-Lee
Eagle's Landing at Dutchtown
Last Week’s Games
Griffin 35, Riverdale 14
Upson-Lee 31, Spalding 10
Stockbridge 31, Eagle's Landing 7
Jonesboro 26, North Clayton 8
Locust Grove 40, Dutchtown 37