Griffin vs. Carrollton storylines, X-factor and pick

By David Purdum / For the AJC

Storylines

–Carrollton runs a wing-T attack featuring three backs —Jarvis Terrell, Malik Sheppard and Trey Chivers—who have each rushed for more than 800 yards. Carrollton averages seven yards per carry. Will Griffin’s defense be able to stand up?

–Griffin runs an explosive no-huddle, up-tempo offense featuring senior quarterback Jaquez Parks and a bevy of weapons at receiver, including Christian Owens, who is committed to Georgia. Second-leading receiver Keyston Fuller is back after suffering a shoulder injury against Sandy Creek. If the game turns into a track meet, the coaches I spoke to this week believe the Bears will have the advantage.

–This is Carrollton coach Rayvan Teague’s second time taking the Trojans to the state championship game. A lot of the seniors on this year’s team were freshmen, when Carrollton reach the 2010 title game in the Georgia Dome. This is the first time for Griffin coach Steve DeVoursney to coach in a state championship game. In preparation, he contacted Sandy Creek coach Chip Walker, Marist coach Alan Chadwick and Lamar County coach Franklin Stephens. Those three coaches have seven state championships between them.

–Griffin second leading rusher Malik Miller is out with a leg injury suffered against Sandy Creek. Bears kicker Tristen Mathis also was injured against Sandy Creek, but will play Saturday. DeVoursney said, however, that his kicker will not be at 100 percent.

–Here is my advance story for Saturday’s game: Griffin, Carrollton persevere to reach championship game.

–Here is my info box file  for Saturday’s game: Griffin-Carrollton facts and figures

X-Factor

Monroe Area’s average starting field position in its second-round loss to Carrollton was its own 19-yard line. Trojans’ kicker Tyler Newsome, a Notre Dame commitment, will do that to you. Ten of Newsome’s 20 punts this season have pinned opponents inside their own 20-yard line. Seventy-six of his 100 kickoffs have resulted in touchbacks.

“They have the best kicking game I’ve seen in 30 years,” Monroe Area coach Matt Fligg said.

Griffin has blocked seven punts this season, but Bears coach Steve DeVoursney said he doubts they’ll get to Newsome on Saturday. “He just gets it off to quick,” DeVoursney said.

Nugget

–Carrollton has three sets of twins on the roster: P/K Tyler and offensive lineman Trevor Newsome, Safety Sam and receiver Andrew Turner, and sophomore defensive linemen Parker and Hayes Roach.

Purdum’s Pick

I talked to a handful of coaches to help make my prediction. Some had played both Griffin and Carrollton. Others had played one or the other. The consensus was – there is no consensus. Half picked Carrollton; the other half picked Griffin.

I initially leaned toward the Trojans, because I believe there is something to a coach having the experience of handling the build-up to a state championship game and the Georgia Dome environment. And so I originally picked Carrollton, 31-28, but was swayed by a coach who questioned the wisdom of the Trojans getting involved in a high-scoring shootout. I switched to Griffin, but was then reminded by another coach of the significant advantage in the kicking game Carrollton has.

Back and forth, I went, until I flipped a coin and took – Griffin 28, Carrollton 27. I think this will be a close game between two teams oozing talent.

62 comments Add your comment

Go Trojans!

December 12th, 2013
12:37 pm

Excellent article!

It’s easy to say Griffin beat The Creek who beat the Trojans so they will win. That game was not filled with big plays so I suspect Carrollton will be able to minimize those for the Bears. We won’t completely stop the big play studs they have but can limit them like we did against Monroe.

I hope the Bears come out in the first quarter with big eyes at the experience! I’m not sure that is much of an advantage with both teams.

Kicking game might be big in this one. We clearly have an advantage there going into the game but kickers are all over the board in general!

Trojans – 24, Bears – 17.

See you at the Dome! Go Trojans!

bear dad

December 12th, 2013
12:58 pm

yea great article But if any you guys or gals have watched the bears know that on turf they have to much speed and talent. I expect this one to be high flying Griffin 44 Trojans 17

Go Trojans!

December 12th, 2013
1:14 pm

The wing T might be from the 1950’s but the Trojans some speed as well! We’ll see how it goes on Saturday.

Dr Richard Handler

December 12th, 2013
1:38 pm

Wing T was old in the 50’s! If it works, it works and Carrollton runs it great. Griffin has plenty o speed! Should be a great game.

Bear_Backer

December 12th, 2013
1:40 pm

I concur – good article. I can’t hardly wait for the game! It ought to be a good one but I have to agree with “bear dad” – Griffin mighty defense is going to win it for them! GO BEARS!!!!

manblk22

December 12th, 2013
2:15 pm

. Great article. This game boils down to coaching. I see the game won in the trenches. Which team can endure the pressures of the game. If Carrollton trys to run and gun. They will lose. Control the clock. Carrollton will win. Its 48 minutes in a game. Whats the hurry?

bear dad

December 12th, 2013
2:26 pm

after watching the Trojans on film I feel they are a great team but griffin has so much speed on offense and Defense! They have D1 players on second team waiting on their turn!!!! cant wait til the game.

Trojan94

December 12th, 2013
2:35 pm

yeah I agree good article griffin maybe ya’ll don’t know but our secondary have some were around 20 picks on the year our secondary is one of our strengths we’ve seen speed (Monroe area) spreads teams (Calhoun and Oxford) good defenses (stockbridge and sandy creek) and adversity marist griffin is just another team in the way of our championship. carrollton avg. 42 points per game! So track meets are not a problem either! carrollton wins no matter what 35-211

bear dad

December 12th, 2013
2:51 pm

I agree with you Trojan94 with y’all secondary being strong and how the Trojans have overcame but Griffin have overcame a little as well……..See you guys on Saturday and we promise the Trojans haven’t seen a defense this angry and hungry

aundrea rock

December 12th, 2013
3:51 pm

Go bears and the Lamar Trojans

trojan power

December 12th, 2013
4:46 pm

Great Article. But i watched the griffin against wayne county and sandy creek. The whole games. Griffin kinda has a 4 leaf clover. Wayne county threw a crucial interception in the redzone, they would have been up 21-6. Also against Sandy Creek the running back fumbled at the goalline and cole garvin threw a pick 6. Yall been slipping threw. I havent seen no dominance in the last 2 games. Yall have athletes. NOT SPEED!. Carrollton has speed and size. 4.2 and 4.,4 in the backfield both corners are 4.4″s. Our D-line is big and tall 6′5 6′6 6′4 6′6. Our corners are 6′1. This will be the best defense yall have seen all year.

trojan power

December 12th, 2013
4:50 pm

People are judgeing Carrollton off the Sandy Creek game. Sandy Creek is a region foe. They know our offense from top to bottom. The problem is Teague cant out coach Chip Walker. They are superb against the wing -t. I expect a great game. Trojans 28 Grffin 24.

SD

December 12th, 2013
7:56 pm

Newnan, Clarke Central, Lagrange, the list goes on and on….many teams have fell to the “BOSS”, Trojans get ready because in the 4th Q. you don’t want a BEAR on your back….

Taco

December 12th, 2013
8:44 pm

The only Trojans that win this Saturday are from Lamar County. Carrollton has never seen the greatest show on turf. The Bears will blow these wannabee’s out of the dome. The could barely handle Stockbridge and I can assure they are not even in the same hemisphere as the Bears.
42-17 is about as good as I see it for Carrollton. If they don’t secure the ball when we bust them in the mouth it could be much worse…..I’m just saying. Go ask Sandy Creek about us….they called us HoodRats. We shall see.

Patriot Power

December 12th, 2013
9:23 pm

Win or lose, Carrollton players have far more class than Griffin players.

Bear_Backer

December 12th, 2013
10:20 pm

@ Patriot Power (snuffed out) – Still crying eh? Rump-hurt much? GO BEARS!!

Taco

December 12th, 2013
11:38 pm

Patriot Power sounds like someone who will be at home watching this Saturday. Maybe a little sour grapes? We know how it tastes in Griffin. We have lost to some inferior Sandy Creek teams in the past. The sting will ease as the winter passes.

Old Bear

December 13th, 2013
1:11 am

@ Taco – We’ve only lost to Sandy Creek once. Hence the butt-hurt Patriot Power is experiencing. And win or lose, both the Carrollton players and the Griffin players have far more class than the Patriots fans.

The rest of these comments are Carrollton’s fans rationalizing why they’re better. Griffin fans can do that, too. Talk is cheap. We’ll all find out Saturday night.

Southern Gal

December 13th, 2013
1:13 am

Sounds like Patriot Power needs to go to CLASS and Learn about what CLASS is. Everyone else on here knows how to speak with intelligence. I wish both teams the best of luck as these are still young men, who have worked hard to get to this point. But at the END of the Day…. Parks goes to Work. Griffin Bears!

Old Bear

December 13th, 2013
1:18 am

I do find it ironic that “trojan power” complains that people are judging Carrollton on the SC game, then proceeds to do the same thing with Griffin. Oh, and turnovers aren’t luck – they’re part of the game.

Cool J

December 13th, 2013
2:36 am

All this talk continues from these Carrollton fans, barely beating Stockbridge a team that y’all said was weak.. Then getting into a shoot out with Marist. I watched that game, the whole game and Griffin has far more speed on defense than that Marist defense had. So we welcome that wing- t offense, should be interesting right out the gate. Griffin defense is stout against the run. Now as far stopping Griffin’s passing game inside the Dome in perfect conditions I doubt it very seriously. J. Parks and company gonna put on a show. Saturday can’t get here fast enough.

Old Bear

December 13th, 2013
2:38 am

@ aundrea rock – Same to you guys. I’ve been pulling for LC all season.

Bearman

December 13th, 2013
4:46 am

I only have 2 words and rest will be on display Sat.

Go Bears!

Notre Dame Box

December 13th, 2013
6:44 am

Congratulations Bears & Trojans for making it here, I am not a fan of these dome games and wish that a coin toss would have given one team or the other the home field advantage.

Sandy Creek took Carrollton into the wood shed and the team and coaches know that, that’s what’s important and the team had to earn the right to be here from the road beating the strongest fundamentally sound team in AAAA football in 4 ot’s who was 52-2 before the event at home.

Griffin is the Dragon slayer and absolutely the favorite in this contest as you have division #1 prospects in all positions on the field having placed more talent in the NFL than any other team in Georgia.

Enough with the hyperbole, The two towns are eerily similar mainly comprised of the salt of the Earth sprinkled in with a few Blue bloods (who still don’t know the Civil War is over.)

I just hope for an injury free contest full of sportsmanship and hard nosed football let the best team win!

Good luck and good game, support your school and may we all look forward to seeing some of these kids in ‘Silver britches next year!

Go Trojan!

Bearmom

December 13th, 2013
7:00 am

The mighty BEARS are humble, restful, and talented. For those who don’t believe, I do. We will be

Cool J

December 13th, 2013
8:24 am

Hey Trojan power its a game and when you have evenly matched teams, games go back and forth. It alls hinges on who makes plays, and thats what Griffin has is play makers. Now take Carrollton for example, played the same Sandy Creek team and scored one TD. Our offense scored all of our points except for the pick six. Thats 25 points from Griffin’s Offense against a very good defense. Truth be told they could have beat yall 31 – 7 they ran the clock out when they could have scored again. Carrolton was never a threat after that first scoring drive. So save all that slipping by talk about Griffin. We Ready!!

bear dad

December 13th, 2013
8:33 am

once again on turf not wet grass the bears will put on a show on offence as well as defense. Remember at the beginning of the season when the grass was dry lol scores like 63-0////56-6
could be one of those day…….#imjustsaying

manblk22

December 13th, 2013
8:46 am

Griffin fans Griffin fans, im happy to see y’all getting hype about the game. But, act like y’all won an state game. Uh uh, forget. Its been 33 years. Dont be shell shocked when y’all good folks walk into the dome. Its just a dome. I mean only the elite play their or is invited. Will Griffin be there for the Corky Kell classic? NOT. This game Saturday will not rattle the Trojans. Its a normal game. Word of advice. Dont look up. People will no you havent been there before. GO TROJANS

bear dad

December 13th, 2013
9:00 am

lol in case u didn’t know griffin has one of largest fan bases in high school football so the team is used to that kind of atmosphere Good luck Trojans !! ( your gonna need it)

bear dad

December 13th, 2013
9:04 am

# im more than a fan I”M a parent of a bear…..LETS GO GRIFFIN

Big cat 84

December 13th, 2013
9:37 am

Lol what I don’t get is what’s all the sandy creek talk for? We did this against them we did that against them! We are out of it here at the creek. We are getting ready for next year! You guys have both proven you are worthy of being there so leave us out of it!! No IMO and it’s just my opinion if we (sandy creek played both of you 10 times we beat griffin 8 out of the ten times. If we play Carrollton those 10 games we beat them 9. Griffin just caught us one out of those two times.. But like I said we are out of it so leave us out. Again just my opinion.,,

Trojan power

December 13th, 2013
10:03 am

Carrollton has the largest fan base! We will fill up our side of the dome. Also congrads to griffin for finally making to this far. I can understand your happiness. Maybe yall can get some tradition now. But sorry it wont be this year. Your guys are gonna be nervous. The stage is to big. Trojans are ready for this moment and battle tested. Our home field is turf. So were use to it. Yall outta visit Grisham Stadium sometimes. It would be a good field trip. LOL. Best facilities in the state. Time To open up a can of A….. wippin on yall over Zelous Griffin Bears!!! Yalls 4 leaf clover is gone!!!

bear dad

December 13th, 2013
10:13 am

Trojan man… lol check the nfl for for griffin high players ooh YEA!!!! This will be one fun saturday

97Bear

December 13th, 2013
11:06 am

Carrollton Fans: “We’re better than you.”
Griffin Fans: “No, we’re better than you.”
Carrolloton Fans: “No, we’re better than you.”
Griffin Fans: “NO, we’re better than you.”
I LOVE this. You guys are cracking me up. Actually, all I really wanted to say was “GO BEARS”. I hope the rest of Griffin fans will be on the Bears’ side of the dome tomorrow screaming your voices out. I was at the semis in 2005 and didn’t feel our fan base was pumped up enough. Let’s bring it!

97Bear

December 13th, 2013
11:07 am

Whoops, mis-spelled Carrollton that second time. Apologies.

Cool J

December 13th, 2013
1:00 pm

Trojan Power hype yourself player. Griffin’s fan base rolls deep, and as far as the game goes Griffin is not afraid of Carrolton in no way shape or form. There will be stage fright for this Bear squad. Know this after Carrollton’s first offensive series all this smack talk will cease.

Go Trojans!

December 13th, 2013
1:03 pm

I think the trickery and wide open Wing T will be the difference!

Bear fans – of course we are going to pick our Trojans to win as we would expect the same from you guys! The beauty of it to me is that Burke County fans lost out! Those rambling, incoherent posts are hard to translate (Hopefully that doesn’t set MaristDad off again….)

Go Trojans! Beat the Bears!

1 Day…see you in the Dome!

Cool J

December 13th, 2013
1:14 pm

Trojan Power you are the same blogger who was saying Sandy Creek was going to blow Griffin Out. Now we are lucky?? Whatever it takes to convince yourself that your team has chance. Follwing every AJC predictions you have chimed in as if you have been on point. Predicting blowouts and what nots. Believe this Marist was good and so was Stockbridge, but heres where the problem lies with that they’re not Griffin. We did something yall could only wish for, beat your arch nemesis at their place. Blog talk is just that talk and where I’m from talk is cheap. Griffin is the real deal.

the instagatter

December 13th, 2013
2:44 pm

@trojan power/ manblack22 being in the dome is special but this senior class the trojans were young happy but not focuse because they were not going to play so really them and griffin are on even playing field the pressure is on both teams the players that come to the dome to take care of buisness whether it’s your first or second will WIN the GAME. TROJAN POWER grisham stadium is great but trojan fans DID NOT fill the seats all YEAR but 2 Games, calhoun, sandy creek every other game was empty so don’t acted like the stands was full all season people did not want to see that one dimentional WING-TEAGUE. GOOD LUCK TROJANS.

the instagatter

December 13th, 2013
3:03 pm

@ TROJAN POWER the turf is not going to be the factor whether the trojans win because they are use to it, if they are so use to it why didn’t they beat SANDY CREEK so cut that non-sense out.

the instagatter

December 13th, 2013
3:17 pm

Enter your comments here @ manblack22 you called me out saying your are confused ,you don’t know who i’m cheering for i was giving a observation on each team i’m going for the team that do not have band member speaking on how tough they are and the band member don’t know what it feels like in the trenches keep your FLUTE close your going to need it when the FAT LADY sings sat. at the DOME lol.

Just a Fan

December 13th, 2013
3:58 pm

We can be assured that the coaching staffs concerns are not as silly as some of these blogs-Griffin should be a bigger favorite than mentioned in the article above. If you beat Statesboro,Sandy Creek&Wayne to get to the finals you have proven yourselves. No other team has consistently stopped Griffin so Carrollton probably wont be able to either.I still support Carrollton win or lose but am no longer the rabid fan that I once was-life is too full to treat it as more than just a game.

manblk22

December 13th, 2013
5:47 pm

Mr. Instagatter, first your sentences were running together. Didnt undetstand nor got a meaning of your statements. Second, you are being lukewarm. At the end of your post. You said Go Trojans. Wow…. When Carrollton wins Saturday. I dont want to hear nothing. Turn your mute button on. Go Trojans

William

December 13th, 2013
7:39 pm

I have never been on here to submit a message but after reading the past few weeks comments I just had to get on. I am a proud alum of Sandy Creek and I attend as many games as I can. I was at the SCHS/Griffin game and I will tell you that first hand the Griffin players, coaches and fans have no class. I will start with the fans: every week there a griffin fans on here running thier mouth and talking trash and crying because they do not get the attention they think they deserve. This is high school football for crying out loud. The parents dont play the game, the kids do. Why do we feel the need to trash talk high school football? Next the coaches: who allows or tells their kids to stomp on the opponents 50 yard line and chant “this is our house” to the home team during warm ups? That was nothing but classless and disrespectful. For the players: you should have heard the horrible things that were coming out of the griffin players. They played dirty the whole game (and yes, I was on the sideline so I know what I saw), but appartently that is acceptable because when a SCHS player’s helmet was ripped off and thrown up the field, the fans then yelled at the ref who through the flag telling him to “let the kids play.” Is that what you teach your kids/players? And lastly, yes your band is awesome, however, why does your band always show up late to games, just to make an entrance? Why did your band take forever to get off our side of the field after half time? And why do you allow you cheerleaders, majorettes, and color guard memebers dance the way they do? They looked like strippers in training. I was embarrassed and angry. There were little girls imitating every move they made. If that was my daughter I would be sick! Griffin had no class when SCHS visited them ‘09 and they surely had no class a couple of weeks ago. Griffin did not win that game but SCHS lost it. Creek had yalls number and two early turnovers cost us. Griffin has plenty of talent but they are not that great. Their qb usally just throws the ball up in the air and hopes one of his big wr’s can catch it. Yes SCHS fans and players are upset because they know that they are a better team. They also have been coached to win State Titles. They dont lose often so when they do, it stings. To all the fans on here lets not forget that this is high school football. these are kids who schooling should be first. These kids do not need any extra pressure put on them from thier parents or fans of their high schools.

Cool J

December 13th, 2013
8:22 pm

William cry me River… It’s basketball season for Sandy Creek!! Both teams had multiple turnovers through out the game. You can’t trade field goals for TD’s and expect to win because that’s what happened. Griffin scored TD’s off turnovers. Sandy Creek kicked two field goals big difference.If Griffin was throwing prayers up and hoping our receivers make the catch why couldn’t Creek stop those last two scoring drives? Trying to insult our fans or football team is truly classless. You win some and you lose some and this case you lost. Don’t be so bitter.

97Bear

December 13th, 2013
8:27 pm

@William. Whoa. Okay, I cannot speak for Griffin’s behavior at the game. I wasn’t there, so I won’t address that. But I listened to the entire game on the radio. It was sloppy for BOTH teams in that game. Griffin threw three interceptions in the 3rd quarter, I believe. You had your chance. So for you to say Griffin didn’t win, but Sandy Creek lost just shows that you cannot accept the fact that there might be a better team out there. Griffin came out and drove down the field for TWO touchdowns in the 4th quarter. Griffin beat you. Regardless of “the fans did this, the band did that, the team said this,” no one can deny that Sandy Creek lost, and Griffin won. I cannot believe I even came on here to comment about a game from two weeks ago, but I cannot accept your argument there.

William

December 13th, 2013
8:56 pm

97Bear nobody asked you to accept my argument. Yes Griffin had two scores late in the 4th quarter and yes both teams had turnovers. I am not bitter because my life does not revolve around high school sports. I am only responding to the griffin fans who have been on here all year long talking trash. I am responding to those who are still running their mouth about schs. I am responding in defense of the sole sandy creek supporter on this message board who was told they were bitter, blah blah blah. Sandy Creek may have lost the game, but up and down, creek had the better team, they just a bad game. If you watched any creek games, you know that they played sloppy. They picked a poor time to have a bad game. This is the only time that I have came on here to respond, but to watch the comments that are made on high school football is what is wrong with the world today……and by the way if you were not there you have no room to talk about the game. Listening to it on the radio is nothing. You needed to be there.
Cool J, nobody here is crying. Like i said, high school football does not keep me up at night. The reason your wr’s were catching prayers (and one was not caught) was because of the size difference. Big deal. I am not trying to insult anyone, but if griffin fans want to continue to run their mouth then someone needs to stand up to them. Griffin players talked trash about how classless Stockbridge was and then they want to keep bringing up the creek game. They complain about not getting enough attention. It appears that they can dish it out but they cannot take it. Trust me when I say this, I am not bitter and will not be back on here to continue with this child like behavior. If you griffin fans, athletes, coaches and whatever believe that they a class act then so be it. But once you have a label it is really hard for you to get that label off.
I will leave you with this: I had not 1, not 2 but 5 different people, who had no ties to either school, and one of those were a college scout. All 5 made comments about the dirty play, the classless fans and the poor coaching of griffin. The college scout even commented that creek had the most talent and the most athletes. They also all made the comments that they were glad thier daughters and/or sons did not attend griffin. One even said they would move just so they would not have to attend. If that is the perception you want for your school….congrats!

Good luck

it's just football

December 13th, 2013
9:03 pm

now I’m not the one for a lot of talk because the game is played by the players on the field! The comments that were made are simply each fans opinion……but to call Griffin low class because of the way that the band members dance or the way that the players talked on the field is just a salty fan looking for an avenue to deliver a cheap insult……..think about it- you have young ladies the same age or maybe a few years older attended many universities gaining a promising education dancing the same way……. so are they Lo class as well! ijs ….. it’s just football and about griffin being lucky….. events happen during a game that determines the victor…….the what ifs, slippers and mishaps all count! hate to bring this up schs but let’s not forget that griffin missed three td passes! now being a true football fan ……. griffin’s coach is the only weakness that discomforts me

97Bear

December 13th, 2013
9:14 pm

I hate to tell you, William, but I can certainly talk about the game if I want. And I could sit here and say that Griffin AND Sandy Creek played sloppy. I heard it on the radio, and people that were at the game have all said it (including Sandy Creek supporters). So, once again, for you to say that Sandy Creek lost because they played sloppy is a bit misguided. I could also sit here and say if Griffin hadn’t played sloppy as well, then they should’ve won by 21. So, what’s the point? I don’t live and die by high school football. Far from it. Congrats to Sandy Creek for a great season. You’ll be back, I’m sure. As well SC should be because you have an outstanding program.. But, tomorrow’s game is about Carrollton-Griffin. And on that note, I’m done with this “jibber jabber” (as Mr.T would say).

William

December 13th, 2013
9:15 pm

@its just football: I never want my daughter or any family member to dance the way those young ladies were. I dont care if they are attending Harvard, the way they were dancing and acting was low class. I am not a salty fan looking for an insult…….but when my family and friends are constanly talked about eventually someone is going to have to step up and say something.