The Jags won a thrilling football game on Sept. 1, defeating football powerhouse LaGrange High on the road by the score of 28-21. Freshman tailback Jabril Reid scored the game-winning touchdown with 10.8 seconds left, giving the Jags their first win in the Nick Davis era and rebounding from the overtime loss to crosstown rival Griffin. The Jags improved to 1-1 with the road win, ultimately Spalding’s biggest win of the season.
That same day, the Lady Bears softball team got its first win of the season after starting the year with six straight losses. Griffin got a complete-game, one-hit pitching performance from senior Angel Crawford and extra-base hits from Rayne Pilgrim, Sierra Barlow and Cleo Randolph to defeat Region 3-AAAA Div. A foe Dutchtown 4-0 on the road and improve to 1-6. The mistake-prone Lady Bears didn’t commit an error in that contest.
On Sept. 2, the Griffin Bears football team won in the last seconds to defeat long-time rival Upson-Lee 21-20. Freshman Anforne’ Stroud, making his first varsity start, threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Trey Willis for the game-winning points. That same day, Jamiro Winston’s 60-yard TD run in the fourth quarter gives Skipstone Academy’s 8-man football team its first win, an 18-16 triumph over Peoples Baptist on the road. B.J. Sheppard had a 40-yard TD run ad caught a 60-yard TD pass in the victory for Skipstone, which improved to 1-1.
On Sept. 6, the much-improved Griffin Christian Lady Crusaders’ volleyball team put forth a good effort, but were swept at home by a very talented Trinity Christian team 3-games-to-none to fall to 4-3 overall
On Sept, 8, Griffin High’s softball team defeated its crosstown rival Spalding High for the first time in five years, 9-1. Griffin’s extra-base hits, including a late RBI-triple from catcher Amani Durant, was the difference in the game. That same night, Spalding’s football team fell in its Region 4-AAA opener to Drew High, 34-9 at Memorial Stadium. Jabril Reid scored Spalding’s only TD of the game, a 10-yard run.
On Sept. 9, Devontae Freeman rushed for 121 yards and a touchdown to lead the Bears to a 7-6 win over Region 3-AAAA Div. B opponent Harris County to improve to 3-0 on the season. Harris County hurt their own cause, fumbling twice, getting critical holding penalties and missing the extra point after scoring a TD which would’ve tied the game at 7-all.
Other newsworthy sports happenings in the area in September included:
* The Pike County Pirates football team sprints to a 14-0 lead over Region 4-AA foe Greene County, whips them 35-0. (Sept. 9)
* Spalding High’s girls cross country teams finished in the top 15 at the Warner Robins meet; the girls were 3rd out of 24 while the boys were 11th out of 24. (Sept. 13)
* The Griffin and Spalding football teams lost region games on the same day, with the Bears losing their first game of the year 21-7 at Jones County while Spalding lost 31-7 at Stockbridge. (Sept. 16)
* Skipstone wins its first-ever 11-man football game, 18-13 over the home-schooled North Georgia Falcons, the two-time defending Glory For Christ league champions. Jamiro Winston rushed for three touchdowns for Skipstone. (Sept. 16)
* The Pike County football team gets its second straight shutout, a 33-0 home thumping of region foe Crawford County, to improve to 3-1, 2-0 in the region. (Sept. 16)
* The Griffin Lady Bears softball team wins three of five games at the Warrior Classic tournament at North Cobb High. Angel Crawford had six hits in the tourney and JV player Forrest Dukes played very well for GHS. (Sept. 16-17)
* The Spalding girls cross country team finished 3rd of 20 at the Jones County meet. Five Lady Jags won medals and set personal records. (Sept. 17)
* The Spalding Lady Jags softball team whips region foe Henry County 14-1 in four innings, nearly solidifying a spot in the region tournament. (Sept. 20)
* The Griffin Bears football team lost at region foe Alcovy 17-16, the Bears' first back-to-back regular-season losses since 2003. (Sept. 23)
* Former Griffin High football player Chandler Worthy, now a freshman wideout at Troy University in Alabama, catches a 75-yard TD pass to help Troy beat Middle Tennessee State at home, 38-35. (Sept. 24)
* Griffin’s softball team rallies from a 4-0 deficit to beat region foe Dutchtown 5-4 on Senior Night, sweeping the series. Katelyn Handley’s RBI single and run scored (on a passed ball) helps the Lady Bears win. (Sept. 27)
* Spalding’s girls cross country team wins the Lamar County meet (1st of 10) while the boys finish 2nd of 10. (Sept. 27)
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the ninth in a 12-part series conducted by the Griffin Daily News highlighting the top sports stories of 2011. This will culminate in a top 10 stories list on Dec. 31, 2011.