Former Bears standout lineman Xzavier Dickson, currently a defensive end for the University of Alabama, watched on the sideline as Griffin bounced back after their loss to Stockbridge last week to reamin in first place at 5-1 overall, 2-0 subregion B. Riverdale falls to 4-2, 1-1.
While Griffin’s offense was clicking on all cylinders, it was the Bears defense that was also sharp as that unit held the potent Raiders offense scoreless in the first half, forcing four turnovers on downs in the second quarter alone.
The Bears struck early and often Friday. Parks engineered an 11-play, 73-yard drive in Griffin’s only possession of the first quarter, culminating in a 2-yard TD run from Freeman to give the Bears the 7-0 lead at the 4:39 mark. Two minutes later, Bears senior linebacker Quintavious Jackson, who was a menace to Riverdale all night, sacked Raiders quarterback Greg Taylor and forced him to fumble. Sophomore linebacker Nic Williams scooped the ball and ran 47 yards for the TD and the 14-0 Bears lead.
Thanks to three Riverdale penalties in the final minutes of the first half, Griffin scored again as Parks hit Freeman for a 16-yard TD and the Bears took a 21-0 lead into halftime as the home crowd voiced its displeasure.
The home crowd booed some more as Parks threw his second TD pass to Freeman early in the third to put the Bears up 28-0. Riverdale finally dented the scoreboard at the 5:49 mark of the third as Trey Mallett’s punt was blocked out of the end zone for a safety, cutting the lead to 28-2. A minute later, Taylor hit Kahmad Magwood for a 17-yard TD pass, but the 2-point conversion failed and the score was 28-8.
The Raiders took advantage of sloppy Griffin play as Taylor threw another TD pass to Ti’Keem Cooper at the 7:27 mark of the fourth quarter. The 2-pt conversion again failed and the score was 28-14, Griffin. Taylor finished the night 18-for-32 passing for 202 yards, 2 TDs and 2 interceptions.
The Bears weren’t finished, as Parks threw his final TD pass to wideout Trey Willis with 2:03 left for the final 35-14 margin. Parks finished the night 14-of-26 for 219 yards with 3 TDs and 1 INT. Montico Dodson and Jumarcus Smith both picked off Taylor in the contest.
Griffin is off next week. It hosts subregion B foe North Clayton Oct. 19 for homecoming at Memorial Stadium.