Class AAAA No. 2-state ranked Griffin hosts Forest Park tonight for homecoming. Last year Griffin dusted the Panthers 40-0. It was more success for Griffin in a series it leads 28-8-1 and has dominated since it resumed four years ago after a 11-year hiatus, blasting the Panthers 43-0 in 2006, 42-17 in 2007 and by 40-0 last year.
Little should change this season. If anything, Griffin (4-0 overall, 2-0 Region 4-AAAA) is better than a season ago and
Forest Park (1-2 overall, 0-1 Region 4-AAAA) is worse.
Forest Park came into the game with an identical record last season, while the Bears were 2-2. However, Forest Park, which lost to Mt. Zion-Jonesboro 15-14 last year two weeks before the Griffin game, lost to those same Bulldogs 65-6 this season. Griffin, meanwhile, improved upon a 30-16 loss to the Bulldogs last year with a 31-7 win last week against the Bulldogs.
“We made some mistakes, but we beat a good football team,” Griffin head coach Steve DeVoursney said of the last week’s win. “They have size, speed, a good quarterback, a good running back and good coaching. They’re going to make a run in the state playoffs I have a feeling when it gets a little cooler and they get in better shape.”
Griffin, which has run the table this season, topping Dunwoody 27-0 in the opener, Spalding 42-10, Ola 48-7 and most recently Mt. Zion Jonesboro by 24 points, continues to show improvement each week. Forest Park, meanwhile, has struggled since an 8-0 season-opening win against Mundy’s Mill, losing 54-0 to No. 3-state ranked Westside-Macon and by 59 points two weeks ago against Mt. Zion-Jonesboro.
DeVoursney and his staff really don’t care about Forest Park’s record tonight.
“We have to continue to get better regardless of who we are playing or if it’s homecoming or not,” he said.
The biggest task Griffin faces this week will likely be staying focused.
“We’re telling them for our seniors it’s the last homecoming — so it’s exciting for our kids,” said DeVoursney. “We just have to make sure they don’t get caught up in all that stuff and come ready to play.”
Leading the Bears into the battle tonight are seniors Marcus Waller (19-35-0 488 5 TDs passing and 22-203 2 TDs rushing) at quarterback, Buck Hancock (43-239 7 TDs) at running back, D.J. Morgan (15-137 3 TDs rushing (3-120 1 TD receiving) at wingback and Denarius Appling (9-93 1 TD rushing and 5-192 2 TDs receiving) at wide receiver.
NOT AVAILABLE TONIGHT: Griffin will be without the services of four starters tonight: S Dontre Morris (school disciplinary reasons), DT Walter Forts (pneumonia), TE Ty Turner (ankle) and MLB Stefon Harper (ankle). With Griffin idle next week, head coach Steve DeVoursney said he expects all of those listed above, except for Harper, back for the next game Oct. 9 at North Clayton (4-0 overall, 2-0 Region 4-AAAA).
DeVoursney said he expects to get Harper back the week after North Clayton.
OH, BY THE WAY: Griffin — which went 0-4 in the series against Forest Park between 1992-1995 — dominated prior to that going 19-1 between 1972-1991.