“I think a lot of fans are going to make the trip down to Thomaston just because it is a big rivalry,” 11th-year Griffin head coach Steve DeVoursney said of his school’s longest standing rivalry.
While Griffin’s oldest rivalry is against Newnan (1916), Friday marks the 61st meeting between the two schools — more than any other school in Griffin history — in a series that dates back to 1926.
Griffin holds a 36-20-4 advantage in the series and he been especially potent since 1971, winning 17 of the last 20 meeting — including the last two in a row and six of the last seven. Last year’s 40-3 victory was the most lopsided in the series since 1942 when Griffin won 72-0.
However, this season the roles are reversed.
“They’ve got a pretty good senior class and the roles are reversed,” said DeVoursney.
Upson-Lee, after a poor showing two weeks earlier in a preseason scrimmage against Lamar County, came out and suprised many by winning the season opener 6-3 at home against Woodward Academy.
‘They kind of have a new attitude down there,” DeVoursney said of a team led by fourth-year head coach Tommy Watson. “They have new uniforms (with silver pants), new (silver) helmets and new colors.”
Of course Griffin is coming off its victory against crosstown rival Spalding in a game where the Jags, under the direction of first year SHS head coach Nick Davis, staged a black-out by wearing black jerseys. While Griffin’s resultting 3-0 win in overtime was the closest in the modern day sereis between the two teams — the others being 62-13, 42-10 and 40-0 — it still was, nonetheless, their fourth win in a row in the series.
The victory pumped up a a Griffin team comprised mostly of freshman and sophomores.
“I think it’s a big rivalry to them because they came up down there in middle school playing them down there,” added DeVoursney.