The vote means the Jaguars appeared in a state poll — albeit in the “Others receiving votes” section — for the first time since the final poll in 2003, the year the Jags lost to Peach County in the Class AAA state semifinals at the Georgia Dome to end the season ranked No. 5 in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll.
What likely landed Spalding the vote was battling then Class AA No. 2 state-ranked Lamar County to a 3-3 tie in the season opener Aug. 31 and then not losing in their next game, a 20-13 win at home, against Rutland.
Of course, Griffin — which has won its first three games the last four seasons — is currently ranked No. 3 in the Associated Press and Atlanta Journal-Constitution polls.
Both local teams are in action tonight on the road, Griffin (3-0) at Woodland-Stockbridge (1-2) and Spalding (1-0-1) at Locust Grove (2-1) in Region 4-AAAA crossover games.
If you like statistics, there’s a lot to chomp on in both games. For openers, if you go by points for and points against, Griffin is posting a region-leading 37 ppg for while Spalding is posting a region-leading 8 ppg against. Spalding is also posting a region-low 11 ppg for.
Of course it’s early and there’s a lot of football left to play, but it’s still interesting to mull over the stats and wonder, “What if... .”
As for this week’s opponents, Woodland-Stockbridge is next-to-last on its side of the subregion in points for (18 ppg) and points against (20 ppg) while Locust Grove is first on its side of the subregion in points for (30 ppg).
Everything else — Griffin allowing 18 ppg against and Locust Grove allowing 19 ppg against — is not noteworthy beyond this point.
That brings us to both series, neither very old.
Steve DeVoursney-coached Griffin leads the all-time series against Scott Schmitt-coached Woodland-Stockbridge 2-0 after wins of 26-7 two years ago in Stockbridge and 30-6 last year at Memorial Stadium in Griffin.
Spalding and Clint Satterfield-coached Locust Grove are knotted at 1-all. SHS christened the series with a 35-0 victory two years ago at Memorial Stadium in Griffin. The Wildcats returned the favor last year, topping Spalding 23-17 in overtime in Locust Grove.
That brings us tonight’s games. Expect both local teams to roll. Griffin hasn’t played a great game for all four quarters yet. They’ll come close tonight... Bears 38-14. Furthermore, Spalding will show folks in the region they are a lot better on defense than many think... Jags 17-14.
(John Sullivan is the sports editor at the Griffin Daily News.)