Both schools are historically similar to the point of a fault. Each has been to the state semifinals three times in the last decade, Newnan in 2003, 2008 and 2009 and Griffin in 2005, 2008 and 2009.
Newnan’s last state championship came in 1981 under the direction of head coach Max Bass. Griffin’s last state championship came in 1978 under the direction of head coach Lloyd Bohannon.
That brings us back to current day and a tale of two cities.
Led by the likes of the Ogletree brothers, Alec and Alexander, now at the University of Georgia, Newnan had a strong defense last season. So was Griffin. The Bears had their golden front eight that was arguably the best in Class AAAA.
This season, expect to see both teams' strengths reside on offense — at least in the early going.
Newnan, led by the likes of running back Chris Robinson (1,200 yards, 18 TDs), promises to have a punishing ground game. Griffin, led by four Division I prospects — wide outs Nile Daniel (Kentucky) and Chandler Worthy (Marshall and Troy), and ends Xzavier Dickson (Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Ohio State amongst others) and Ty Turner (South Florida) — promises to be high-flying.
Daniel (29-362, 5 TDs), Worthy (9-174, 1 TD), Dickson (10-191, 2 TDs) and Turner (9-185, 2 TDs) will provide ample targets for strong-armed senior quarterback Tyler Hamm (23-54-0, 375 yards and 3 TDs). Hamm, who backed up 2009 Griffin Daily News Player of the Year Marcus Waller the past two seasons, has paid his dues and is ready to be the team’s main triggerman.
This all makes for an intriguing matchup Friday night. Griffin’s coaching staff will be closely monitoring the Bears rushing attack as well as a defensive end position vacated by the graduation of Brandon Williamson (who's at Holmes C.C. in Miss.).