Class AAAA: Carrollton, Griffin facts and figures
Class AAA Title Game (5:30 p.m., Saturday)
Carrollton (13-1) vs. Griffin (14-0)
- Overview: In a battle of two perennial powers, Carrollton has the edge in state championship game experience. The Trojans are in the title game for the second time in four seasons and have reached at least the quarterfinals of the playoffs in eight of coach Rayvan Teague’s 12 seasons. Carrollton has won seven state championships, the most recent coming in 1998. … Griffin has made frequent deep playoff runs in coach Steve DeVoursney’s 13 seasons, but this is the Bears’ first trip to the state championship game since 1980. Griffin has won two state championships (1978, 1942), according to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association.
- Carrollton season: The Trojans were ranked in the top five all season and overcame a deflating Week 10 loss to defending champion Sandy Creek. Carrollton won three road playoff games, including last week’s four-overtime thriller at Marist, to advance to the Georgia Dome.
- Griffin season: Griffin started at No. 8 and climbed all the way to No. 2, after an undefeated regular season. The Bears outscored opponents by an average score of 45-9. Griffin came from behind in the second half to beat Sandy Creek and Wayne County to reach the Georgia Dome.
- Carrollton strength: The Trojans’ wing-T rushing game averages 276 yards and features three backs — Jarvis Terrell, Malik Sheppard and Trey Chivers — who each have rushed for more than 800 yards. Carrollton averages 7 yards per carry.
- Griffin strength: Senior QB Jaquez Parks has passed for 3,332 yards and rushed for 1,083 yards. The defense has forced 29 turnovers, and the punt return unit has blocked seven kicks.
- Carrollton’s top players: Senior P/K Tyler Newsome (Notre Dame), TE Cole Cook (North Carolina State) and OT Jake Sanders (Duke) are committed to major BCS programs. DT Dontavius Russell will join them eventually. After initially committing to Georgia, Russell recently re-opened his recruiting and has offers from SEC and national powers. … QB Will Garrett has passed for 1,146 yards with 13 touchdowns, but is more than a game-manager. … Roury Glanton leads the defense with 107 tackles.
- Griffin’s top players: QB Parks has offers from Air Force and Harvard. … WRs Christian Owens, who is committed to Georgia, and Keaston Fuller and Trey Willis are Parks’ top targets. … Fuller and LB Jordan Colbert have offers from North Carolina and Georgia Tech. … LB Telly Sloan leads the team in tackles and finished second in the state in wrestling last season in the 220-pound class. … ATH Devontae Freeman is a playmaker in all phases.
- On Carrollton: “They don’t turn the ball over; they don’t commit foolish penalties, and they have the best kicking game I’ve ever seen in 30 years.” — Monroe Area coach Matt Fligg, whose team lost to Carrollton, 44-27, in the second round.
- On Griffin: “Griffin has a lot of skill people and do a good job getting those guys in space. If Griffin is able to get their guys in space, they have good chance. If Carrollton can control the ball, they’ll have a very good chance of winning the game.” — Sandy Creek coach Chip Walker, who’s team beat Carrollton in the regular season and lost to Griffin in quarterfinals
- AJC Pick: Griffin 28, Carrollton 27
–David Purdum, For the AJC