In a game that was billed as a low-scoring defensive struggle, Griffin put its collective foot to the gas pedal on offense, defense and special teams and didn’t let up on the Gators until the blowout was complete. With the win, the No. 1-ranked Bears improve to 12-0 and reach the 12-win plateau for the fourth time in school history. Ware ends the year at 6-6.
Griffin took the lead for good with 5:45 left in the first, thanks to a 64-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Marcus Waller to Denarius “Pooh” Appling for a 7-3 Bears lead. The Bears tried to seize momentum by recovering an on-side kick, but the Gators defense held and forced a punt. Eddie Glanton got a great bounce on his punt, pinning the Gators on their 4-yard line. Two plays later, Gators quarterback Jimmy Wilkins fumbled the handoff and Bears defensive end Xzavier Dickson scooped it up and trotted 7 yards into the end zone for a touchdown and a 14-3 lead with 3:38 left in the first.
In the second quarter, Waller ran for a 6-yard TD and threw a 20-yard TD pass to tight end Ty Turner for a 28-3 lead at the half. While the Bears offense was rolling, the Bears defense rolled over Ware County, limiting the Gators to only 55 total yards in the first half.
“We started out slow the last game, so we had something to prove tonight,” said Waller, who was 11-of-16 for 200 yards and two touchdowns. “On offense, we wanted to help our defense out since they’ve helped us out all season long.”
The Bears defense pinned their ears back and roughed up Ware County in the second half. The Bears harassed the Gators into two interceptions — Dickson got an interception after batting a Wilkins pass in the air and strong safety Corey Moore nabbed his fourth straight interception in four games when Ware tried a fullback pass back to Wilkins. Wingback D.J. Morgan scored Griffin’s final two touchdowns, both on 2-yard runs, for a 42-3 lead in the third quarter. Gators backup quarterback Josh Bennett scored on a 3-yard run for the final 42-10 margin.
Griffin’s next opponent will be the 12-0 Apalachee Wildcats, 36-35 overtime winners over Marist. A coin toss this morning will determine who will be the home team next Friday night, as both teams are No. 1 seeds.