The senior kicker missed two earlier field goals but made the one that counted, sinking a 27-yard field goal as the final buzzer sounded to lead the Tigers to a 17-14 upset victory over the No. 2 state-ranked Griffin Bears Friday night in Region 4-AAAA crossover action at Memorial Stadium.
Griffin, out of subregion B, had its 8-game regular-season win streak snapped and now falls to 4-1 overall while subregion A team Stockbridge won its fourth straight game to improve to 4-1.
This marks the first time ever that Griffin has lost to a Henry County school on the gridiron.
Stockbridge seemed intent on breaking that decades-long county losing streak right away, as Tigers quarterback Trent Earl (6 of 8 passing, 154 yards, TD) threw a 65-yard touchdown pass to wideout Maetron Thomas, who made several nice moves and went in for the score 19 seconds into the first quarter. Guillen’s extra point made the score 7-0.
The Tigers struck again in the second quarter after Guillen missed his first field goal attempt. Stockbridge running back Malik Bryan scampered 25 yards for a TD and with 7:26 to go before halftime, the Tigers stunned the Bears 14-0. It was the Bears’ largest deficit they’ve had this season.
The Bears finally dented the scoreboard on their next possession. Bears quarterback Jaquez Parks (15 of 26 passing, 163 yards) engineered a 13-play, 76-yard drive which culminated in a 2-yard TD run from Malik Miller with 2:07 left in the second. The extra point was no good and Griffin cut the Tigers’ lead to 14-6.
Stockbridge drove to the Bears’ 1-yard line with a few seconds remaining, but the Bears defense held the Tigers down and the score remained 14-6 at the half.
The Bears turned the ball over on downs on their only possession of the third quarter and Stockbridge’s Guillen missed another field goal early in the fourth to keep the score at 14-6. Griffin’s offense turned up the heat at the 4:49 mark of the fourth to tie the game.
Parks hit wideout Christian Owens (6 receptions, 73 yards) for an 18-yard completion on fourth-down and 10 to the Tigers' 23 yard line and then he hit Trey Willis for a 20-yard catch-and-run on the next play to get the ball down to the 3. It was “Miller Time” after that, as Malik Miller bullied his way in for the TD to make the score 14-12. Bears backup quarterback Anforne’ Stroud then hit Quay Mangham for the 2-point conversion and the game was tied at 14 with 3:30 left, to the delight of the crowd.
Stockbridge was unfazed. With the Tigers facing 2nd and 7 from their own 17 yard line, Earl (114 yards rushing) ran for 55 yards to the Bears 29 and with 1.6 seconds remaining, Guillen won the game from 27 yards out. Earl rushed for 66 yards on the game-winning drive.
The Stockbridge defense held Griffin’s offense 23.5 points under their average, and the Tigers outgained the Bears 389 to 273. Stockbridge was undisciplined at times in the second half, committing 7 penalties for 51 yards which gave the Bears great field position. Griffin didn’t commit a penalty in the second half.
Griffin travels to face subregion B foe Riverdale next Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Tara Stadium in Jonesboro. Riverdale (4-1) defeated subregion A team Eagle's Landing 52-36 Friday night.
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* |7:30
10/19 |North Clayton* |7:30
10/26 |@ Upson-Lee* |7:30
11/2 |@ Spalding* |7:30
11/9 |Region Playoff
* — Region 4-AAAA, Div. B