Griffin (9-2), which won the most most games, upped their school-record streak of consecutive state playoff appearances to 12 — all under the direction of 12th-year Bears head coach Steve DeVoursney.
The Bears opened the season with consecutive wins against Dutchtown 42-16, Northgate 35-6, Jonesboro 34-33, and Woodland-Stockbridge 52-20 as they rose to No. 2-ranked in the state Class AAAA polls. A 17-14 loss on a field goal with no time left on the clock against Stockbridge followed.
Griffin then mounted a season-best, five-game win streak as it took down Riverdale 35-14, North Clayton 42-20, archrival Upson-Lee 28-14, crosstown rival Spalding 42-0 and Eagle’s Landing 49-6 to clinch first place in Region 1-AAAA Div. B, climb back up in the state rankings to No. 5 and clinch the aforementioned state playoff berth before being eliminated 33-17 in an opening-round state playoff game against Monroe-Albany.
Spalding, meanwhile, started its 2012 campaign with great promise tying then No. 2-state Class AA ranked Lamar County 3-3 in the season opener — that’s the same Lamar team, currently ranked No. 4 in the state, that is alive and thriving heading into the second round of the state playoffs of a season where they have since outscored everyone in their path since the opener by a combined margin of 42-8.
The Nick Davis-coached Jags (2-7-1) followed with a 20-13 win at home against Rutland. The Jags seemed poised to turn around their fortunes from a season ago when they finished 2-8 during Davis’ first year at Spalding.
Then the Jaguars lost seven in a row, falling to Locust Grove 14-0, Dutchtown 24-21, Upson-Lee 31-10, Riverdale 21-0, Jonesboro 32-7, North Clayton 12-0 and Griffin 42-0 to finish last in Region 4-AAAA Div. B before ending the season with a 42-22 win against winless Forest Park.
Griffin Christian also struggled throughout much of the 2012 season. Coming off an 0-10 season — where they scored only one touchdown all season — things looking promising when the Bobby Brogdon-coached Crusaders opened the season with a 30-0 victory at Nix Field against Central Fellowship.
But during a season where they moved from Georgia Independent Schools Association (GISA) Class AAA football to Independent Christian Schools of Georgia and Alabama Athletic Association (ICSGA) 11-man football, the struggles soon began.
The Crusaders lost the rest of their games falling to Dominion Christian 53-32, Loganville Christian 42-0, Creekside Christian 20-19, Randolph Southern 26-21, Calvary 45-15, Community Christian 46-14, Crown Athletics 38-16 and New Creation 25-12 to finish the season with a 1-8 record as they were eliminated from postseason contention.
Dan Salvador-coached Skipstone Academy, which played independent 8-man football last season, moved to the 11-man Glory for Christ League this year. Although they got off to a rocky start losing to Appling Christian 44-0, East Atlanta 21-0, Anderson 34-6 and the Georgia Force 31-16, things began to turn around as they scored victories against North Georgia 8-0 in overtime, the Home School Depot 47-7 and North Atlanta 42-18 to head down the stretch sporting a 3-4 record.
But losses to Calvary Christian 34-13, East Atlanta 14-07 and Augusta Prep 46-0 followed as Skipstone (3-7) was eliminated from postseason contention.
Jim McClelland Jr.-coached Faith Christian Academy, meanwhile, moved from 8-man ICSGA to 8-man independent this season.
The Lions (3-4) struggled out of the gate, yielding the most points in school history against Shiloh Hills 86-24. Things didn’t get any better the following game in a 86-12 loss to King’s Way. Then the team turned things around with wins against Philadelphia 24-14, Dominion 38-12 and Life Christian 48-44 before ending the season with losses to Westside 47-42 and the Crown Athletics JV 44-0.
The last game was FCA’s first venture into 11-man football.