Dramatic wins set up classic state championship game

By David Purdum / For the AJC

A pair of dramatic semifinal victories has set up a doozy of a AAAA state championship game.

For the second straight week, Griffin quarterback Jaquez Parks led a second-half comeback to help the unbeaten Bears hold off No. 7 Wayne County and advance to their first title game since 1980. Last week, Parks led two scoring drives in the final seven minutes in a road upset of defending champion Sandy Creek. Against Wayne County, the senior quarterback rallied the Bears back from a 14-6 halftime deficit. Griffin’s Anfornee Stroud changed the momentum with a 58-yard interception return for a touchdown on Wayne County’s first drive of the second half. Parks adding a passing and rushing touchdown

No. 2 Griffin will face No. 4 Carrollton, which won a four-overtime thriller over Marist. Carrollton’s Jarvis Terrell scored three touchdowns and the winning two-point conversion in the fourth overtime. The Trojans avenged a five-overtime playoff loss to Marist last season, thanks to a defensive stop on a potential tying two-point conversion.

Carrollton is headed to the Georgia Dome for the second time in the last four seasons.

According to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association, Griffin and Carrollton have played three times, with the last meeting coming in 1922. Ninety-one years later, the Bears and Trojans will kick off at 5:30 p.m., Saturday in the Georgia Dome.

State Championship Game Notes: Griffin coach Steve DeVoursney is 127-35 (78.3 percent) in 13 seasons. … Carrollton coach Rayvan Teague is 117-26 (81.8 percent) in 12 seasons. … Griffin lost leading rusher Malik Miller and No. 2 receiver Keyston Fuller to injuries in the win over Sandy Creek. Both missed Friday’s game against Wayne County. … The Bears and Trojans have one common opponent – Sandy Creek. Carrollton lost at home, 24-7, to Region 5-rival Sandy Creek. The Bears beat the Patriots, 32-26, on the road. … Last season’s AAAA state championship participants—Sandy Creek and Ridgeland—each received $32,997.89 from gate revenue. … Griffin QB Jaquez Parks is an academic star with an offer from Harvard on the table. … Carrollton star defensive tackle Dontavius Russell de-committed from Georgia last week. Russell initially picked Georgia over Auburn, Alabama and Florida, but says he is re-opening his recruiting.

Banner Seasons

–Marist outgained Carrollton 424-372, but lost at home in the playoffs for only the third time since 1987. The War Eagles (11-3) overcame early-season losses to Thomas County Central and Lovett to reach the semifinals for the 12th time in coach Alan Chadwick’s 29-year tenure. Chadwick is seventh on the all-time Georgia high school wins list with 322.

–Wayne County (11-3) posted double-digit wins for the first time in 21 years, as coach Jody Grooms continues to turn around the Yellow Jackets’ program. Wayne County went 6-34 in the four seasons, before Grooms arrived in 2010. The Yellow Jackets are 26-18-2 in Grooms’ four seasons.

16 comments Add your comment


December 7th, 2013
11:24 am

Congratulations Marist for a great season! You have always been, and will always be a winner in our eyes.

The Tucker Tigers.

Go Trojans!

December 8th, 2013
8:43 am

That was a crap call in 1922 that cost us the game! :)

Looking forward to tangling with the Bears at the Dome. It is surprising we haven’t met since the 1922 barn burner.

We’ll see if our D can slow down the Bears. We know they can and will score. I heard we plan on spreading it out and throwing the ball 45 – 50 times as well! We can score as well but obviously with a different style.

Go Trojans!


December 8th, 2013
11:38 am

@ go trojans whoever and where ever you heard that they carrollton is going to throw that much i assure you it was not from the the head coach and staff. you would be lucky if they throw more than once.

Go Trojans!

December 8th, 2013
5:26 pm

Just a little online joke there – didn’t hear about it nor would I expect them to change things at this point.

Go Trojans!

Old Bear

December 8th, 2013
5:55 pm

I sure hope weather doesn’t become a factor in the Dome. It would spoil an otherwise exciting game.

Old Bear

December 8th, 2013
5:58 pm

And, Go Trojans!, it WAS a bad call in 1922. I was there, and remember it like it was yesterday. Then again, I don’t remember yesterday too well. Never mind…

What took so long?

December 8th, 2013
7:50 pm

The driving distance between Carrollton and Griffin is 47 miles, and the geographical distance is 58 miles. You’d think that the two schools would have played more often by now, especially when you consider the tortured gerrymandering that has arranged for Griffin to be placed in regions with the Macon schools and the Columbus schools (though not at the same time).

Jerry Manderer

December 8th, 2013
10:30 pm

Huh? Who has a problem with my scheduling prowess? Certainly not the Mighty Griffin Bears. They win regardless of where I put them. Go figure. Ü


December 8th, 2013
10:35 pm

You are on THIN ICE there “Jerry”. Don’t push it with the blog-humor. It’s over a lot of heads at this level. (I thought it was funny though…)

Old Bear

December 9th, 2013
1:24 am

I checked on the three games that Carrollton and Griffin played. Carrollton won 16-7 in 1921 and Griffin got revenge, 7-0, in 1922. The oddball game (and score) was in 1909, when Carrollton lost, and Griffin apparently won, by the score of -1 to -1. I can’t figure out how the officials came up with that score, or how they determined a winner based on it.

At any rate, this game will break the tie. Good luck and safe travels to the Dome for you Trojans.

Trojan '85

December 9th, 2013
7:45 am

Looking forward to a great Championship game. Both teams have a lot of tradition and pride.

trojan power

December 9th, 2013
10:00 am

Congrats to AAAA Championship game finalists! Looking forward to great game


December 9th, 2013
11:55 am

@ go trojans thats cool we all need a sense of humor on here lol go trojans good luck!


December 9th, 2013
2:47 pm

Carrollton’s athletic physical secondary vs Griffin’s sure handed, fast , tall receiving core..


December 10th, 2013
3:24 am

carrollton vs griffin for the Class AAAA state championship Saturday at 5:30 man everybody from carroll and spalding co will be there I expect the Georgia Dome lower level be filled all the way around by both fan bases.


December 10th, 2013
12:49 pm

@Trojan94 – Don’t forget that our good neighbors over in Barnseville (Lamar Co.) will also be there “en masse”. Their “Trojans” play Lovett prior to Griffin vs.Carrollton. There are shirts going around the area touting Griffin and Lamar’s trip to the dome!! To borrow a line from the famous blogger “sportsnut”: ~~~~~~~~~~~SOUTHERN CRESCENT STYLE!!~~~~~~~~~~~~~