Griffin raced to a 21-6 halftime lead and poured it on late to beat the Eagle’s Landing Golden Eagles 49-6 Friday night in Region 4-AAAA play-in action at Memorial Stadium. With the win, the Bears clinch a berth in the state football playoffs for the 12th consecutive year. The season ends for the Golden Eagles.
The No. 6 state-ranked Bears (9-1) will be the second seed from Region 4 in the Class AAAA playoffs, however, because the Stockbridge Tigers defeated the North Clayton Eagles 29-0 Friday in Stockbridge to claim the Region 4-AAAA championship and the No. 1 seed. Stockbridge (9-1) wins the region title due to their 17-14 victory over Griffin earlier this season.
Other scores from the Region 4-AAAA play-in games Friday included Jonesboro beating Dutchtown 43-28 and Riverdale beating Locust Grove 20-10. Jonesboro (9-1) will be the No. 3 seed and Riverdale (7-3) will be seed No. 4 in the state playoffs from Region 4. The season ends for Dutchtown (6-4) and Locust Grove (6-4).
Upson-Lee defeated Woodland-Stockbridge 23-11 in other region action Friday.
Eagle’s Landing (1-9) came out fired up Friday night like Griffin head coach Steve DeVoursney figured it would. The Golden Eagles drove on the Bears from their own 21 to the Bears 5-yard line to start the game. But a crucial offensive pass interference penalty backed ELHS up and it couldn’t recover, turning the ball over on downs at the Griffin 1.
Griffin wasted no time seizing the momentum. Quarterback Jaquez Parks threw a pass to running back Devontae Freeman in the end zone and he scampered 80 yards to the EL 19 on the first play from scrimmage. Four plays later, Freeman scored on a 3-yard run to dent the scoreboard for Griffin. Alexis Rivera’s point-after made it 7-0, Bears.
After EL turned the ball over on downs early in the second quarter, Freeman scored from 5-yards out to give the Bears the 14-0 lead at the 9:16 mark. The big play on that drive was a 64-yard bomb from Parks to Keyston Fuller to put Griffin in the goal-to-go situation.
EL made it a contest five minutes later as quarterback Bradley Dewberry threw a 20-yard TD pass to running back Corey Holloway. The 2-point conversion try failed and Griffin led 14-6. Griffin was unfazed, getting a 9-yard TD pass from Parks to Quay Mangham with :37 left before halftime to put the Bears up 21-6.
That was as close as EL would get. In the third quarter, Freeman scored on a 62-yard TD run up the middle and Parks connected with Jordan Colbert for an 18-yard TD pass to put the game out of reach, 35-6. Griffin scored again in the fourth quarter as reserve quarterback Anforne’ Stroud hit Trey Willis for a 3-yard TD pass and reserve running back Dee Underwood scored on a 1-yard TD run for the final 49-6 margin.
Date Opponent Time
8/31 @ Dutchtown W 42-16
9/7 @ Northgate W 35-6
9/14 Jonesboro* W 34-33
9/21 @ Woodland W 52-20
9/28 Stockbridge L 17-14
10/5 @ Riverdale* W 35-14
10/19 North Clayton* W 42-20
10/26 @ Upson-Lee* W 28-14
11/2 @ Spalding* W 42-0
11/9 E. Landing W 49-6
* — Region 4-AAAA, Div. B