The season looked lackluster after Griffin lost three of its first six games and then found itself trailing Dutchtown 19-7 at the half in the ninth game of the season, a playoff berth perilously hanging in the balance.
“Yeah, especially after we began the season (3-3),” said DeVoursney. “We didn’t do very many things right at the beginning of the season. We were not well-coached, we didn’t play well and had too many turnovers.”
Griffin, however, rallied to win that night, 27-22, as wingback Buck Hancock scored three touchdowns, two rushing and one receiving. The Bears then clinched a state playoff berth six days later when fullback Sheldon Hancock ran for three touchdowns in a hard-fought 35-16 win at Alcovy in the regular season finale.
The Griffin win eliminated Alcovy from the state playoffs, but more importantly left Griffin going into the 2008 Class AAAA state playoffs in a favorable bracket as a second seed.
It marked the eighth year in a row and the 12th time in the last 13 years the Bears had qualified for the state playoffs.
Once the Bears reached the state playoffs, it didn’t take Griffin long to assert itself as wingback D.J. Morgan scored three touchdowns and the Bears defense pitched its third shutout of the season in a 26-0 opening-round playoff win at home on a foggy night against Augusta-based Glenn Hills.
Griffin faced its stiffest test of the season in the second round of the state playoffs 4 1/2 hours away at Brunswick where the Bears had to rally from a 24-14 deficit late in the third quarter to post a 34-30 win. Sheldon Hancock paved the way with four touchdowns, while Buck Hancock added the game-winning score, his only TD of the night, on a 42-yard run in the fourth quarter.
The victory propelled the Bears into the state quarterfinals at home against the Buck Godfrey-coached Southwest DeKalb Panthers. Griffin relied on stellar defense, a 25-yard field goal by Edward Glanton and a 1-yard touchdown run by Sheldon Hancock to eliminate Southwest DeKalb and advance to the state semifinals for the second time in the last four years and the eighth time in the school’s modern history.
There Griffin was scheduled to play No. 4-state ranked Tucker. Unranked Griffin was trying to reach the state finals for the first time since 1980, while Tucker - which had played in the 2007 state semifinals - was trying to reach the state finals for the first time since 1963.
Griffin committed six turnovers and Tucker won out, 34-0, on a cold night at Hallford Memorial Stadium (the old DeKalb Memorial Stadium). Tucker advanced to the state finals to be played 8 p.m., Friday at the Georgia Dome against No. 3-state ranked Marist as Griffin’s season came to an end.