The Bears are in a race to be playoff-ready when the play-in game arrives Nov. 9.
Long known as a team that prides itself on playing in the state playoffs, Region 4-AAAA Div. B first-place Griffin (5-1 overall, 2-0 subregion) has three games — tonight at home against North Clayton (1-6, 1-2), next week at archrival Upson-Lee (3-3, 1-1) and the week after at crosstown Spalding (1-4-1, 0-2) — to prepare.
In an effort to be razor-sharp by Nov. 9, Griffin’s offense is prepared to lay waste to whatever gets in its way between now and then. The gloves are coming off. Simply put, the target is blowing people out of the water. Rogers wants the BIG-TIME confidence back on offense during a season where offense has been the team’s strength.
Sub-par outings the last two games — a 14-point night in a 17-14 loss to Stockbridge three weeks ago and 28-point night in a 35-14 win against Riverdale two weeks ago — have left the Bears offense hungry to reach the early-season success it enjoyed when it was averaging 38.5 ppg and was on a school-record pace for average points in a season (37.5 ppg modern day record set in 2009/49 ppg all-time set in 1942) through the first four games.
Toward that end, Rogers took his offense — the staff and players, now averaging 32.7 ppg — to task in the last 36 hours, challenging them to pick their game up not one notch but several notches collectively.
Expect an explosion of points as Griffin puts its best foot forward.
Griffin is far too talented to do anything less.
It’s time for this team to begin maturing.
If you like a serious downfield passing attack — which is extremely rare at the high school level — watch the next three games. Next-to-last place North Clayton is allowing a subregion-worst 23 ppg and Upson-Lee is allowing a subregion-next-to-last 22 ppg, while Spalding’s defense has been ravaged by injuries.
All three are suspect against the pass, especially a passing attack as strong as No. 9-state ranked Griffin’s.
Furthermore, Griffin has had its off week last week to get its ducks in a row.
Expect the Bears to begin revving it up tonight, smoothly shift into a new gear every week and be flying into overdrive when the play-in game arrives on Nov. 9.
Simply put, Griffin has three weeks to make any improvements it is going to make. Once the playoffs start there is precious little time to improve. Bears head coach Steve DeVoursney knows the offensive explosion started in the pros and recently manifested in college has finally tricked down to the high school level.
Consider Griffin ground zero.
(John Sullivan is the sports editor at the Griffin Daily News.)