Griffin – The Griffin Bears had never lost to a school from Henry County, until Friday night, when Stockbridge finally broke through.
Andrus Guillen’s 27-yard field goal as time expired gave Stockbridge a 17-14 win in a shocker against Griffin, ranked No. 2 in Class AAAA. The Bears entered the game 28-0 all-time against schools from Henry.
“They don’t give you a ring for that,” said Stockbridge coach Kevin Whitley. “The Henry County thing is not a deal for us. We’re just worried about Stockbridge.”
After this win, everybody else in 4-AAAA will be worried about the Tigers too.
Quarterback Trent Earl rushed for 117 yards and passed for 155 for the Tigers (4-1), who won their fourth straight game since a season-opening loss to M.L. King. Stockbridge compiled 406 total yards to Griffin’s 273, but missed two earlier field goal tries and finished the first half on the Griffin 1-yard line.
“I’m always thinking our offensive line is going to get us through this,” said Earl, who broke free for a 54-yard run on the winning drive. “When they came down and tied the game, I knew we still had a chance.”
Griffin, which had scored 163 points in its first four games, never broke a big play. Over the first three quarters, the Bears’ longest offensive play was 15 yards.
“Our whole focus was just limiting the big plays,” Whitley said. “This is a huge win for us, but if we don’t use this and get better, it doesn’t mean anything.”
Stockbridge had truggled to score points in three of its first four games. Whatever their previous woes were, they solved them against Griffin. On the first play from scrimmage, Earl found Maetron Thomas over the middle, and Thomas made two moves to make Griffin defenders miss before sprinting the rest of the 65 yards to a touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
The Tigers moved to the Griffin 10 on their second possession before stalling, and Guillen’s 29-yard field goal was wide left.
Stockbridge sacked Parks on the ensuing series and forced a Griffin punt, which Javon Brandon returned to the Bears’ 26-yard line, and two plays later, Malik Bryan burst through the middle for a 25-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead.
Griffin responded with a 13-play, 76-yard drive, scoring on Malik Miller’s 2-yard run, but Alexis Rivera’s extra point was wide.
Griffin drove 41 yards to the tying score, getting a 1-yard run from Miller with 3:30 left and a two-point conversion pass from Anforne Stroud to Darquavious Mangham.