Griffin High football dominated the early part of the season, going 4-1 and jumping from the No. 7 state-ranked team in Class AAAA in the preseason to No. 2 by the end of the month.
The Bears’ superb early performance started with some late-game heroics. Down 16-7 at halftime, Griffin rallied on Aug. 31 to beat Dutchtown on the road 42-16 behind sophomore Malik Miller’s three rushing touchdowns and quarterback Jaquez Parks’ two passing TDs. Griffin wide receiver Quay Mangham had 4 catches for 117 yards and Miller had 8 carries for 80 yards total.
Now No. 6 state-ranked, Griffin won handily at Northgate, beating the Vikings 35-6 on Sept. 7 behind Miller’s two TDs and Parks’ 240 yards on 15-of-25 passing. The Bears were able to coast to a 22-0 halftime lead; apparently the team didn’t enjoy the whole comeback thing from last week.
No. 3 ranked Griffin played poorly in their third game Sept. 14, narrowly edging out No. 9 Jonesboro 34-33 in a game that featured 25 penalties by both teams and a total time of 3 hours and 35 minutes. It was the Bears’ first Region 4-AAAA Division B game and with the win, Griffin cemented its status as a top-10 team.
Running back Devontae Freeman ran for 137 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries to help the Bears destroy Woodland-Stockbridge 52-20 on the road Sept. 21. This game helped Griffin gain the No. 2 state-ranked position and Parks ended the night with 164 passing yards and 2 touchdowns to wide receiver Keyston Fuller.
The Bears were upset 17-14 in their last September game at home, losing on the 28th to a Stockbridge team which was on a three-game win streak. Griffin had its own win streak of 8 straight regular-season games snapped with the loss, thanks to a 27-yard field goal by senior Stockbridge kicker Andrus Guillen that broke a 14-all tie as the final buzzer sounded.
Other noteworthy area events in the month of September:
*After going 3-6 in August, the Griffin Lady Bears softball team pulled together a 4-0 start in the first half of September. It went 2-4 in a rough North Cobb Tournament Sept. 14-15, but managed to secure an 8-7 record by the end of the month, bringing their season total to 11-13 heading into the Region 4-AAAA Tournament in October.
*Spalding Lady Jags softball went 3-6 in August as well, but brought its winning percentage up to .500 with a solid 6-3 run in September, including a 7-2 win at Griffin in the teams’ first meeting on Sept. 19.
*Skipstone Academy football made a strong push in September, winning 3 games and outscoring their opponents 97-24 after going 0-4 in August to start the season.