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Griffin Stuns Jonesboro In State First Round

November 15, 2011
Griffin Grasshoppers

Griffin Stuns Jonesboro In State First Round


JONESBORO, Ga. – Senior Eddrick Johnson ran for three touchdowns and sophomore quarterback Jaquez Parks ran for another and tossed three touchdowns – including one to classmate Dovontae Freeman with 2:21 left and another with :57 left – as Griffin rallied from a 9-point deficit late in the fourth quarter to stun Jonesboro 47-43 Friday night in the opening round of the Class AAAA state playoffs at Tara Stadium.

In the process, the Bears (9-2) advance to a second-round state playoff game – for a school-record fourth year in a row – next week at No. 1-state ranked Tucker (11-0), 44-14 winners over Sprayberry Friday night.

Things, however, didn’t always look so good for Region 3-AAAA third place Griffin. Region 4-AAAA second-place Jonesboro (9-2) drew first blood when it recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff, advanced it to the Griffin 1 and scored a play later on a 1-yard touchdown run by Rodney Singleton – the first of three touchdowns the senior had on the night.

But Griffin. led by Parks’ 16-of-32 performance for 185 yards – not to mention his 11 rushes for 85 yards – bounced back by scoring the game’s next three touchdowns to take a 21-7 lead. Johnson capped the first, a six-play, 50-yard drive, on a 3-yard run and the second, a 10-play, 74-yard drive – aided by a roughing the punter call – on a 1-yard run.

Richard Wilder then recovered an on-side chip kick, Griffin’s second of the night. to set up a six-play, 32-yard drive Parks capped on a 22-yard touchdown pass to classmate Trey Willis with 7:36 to play in the first half.

Jonesboro, however, raced back to tie the game on a 1-yard touchdown run by Singleton and later a 5-yard touchdown pass from Cedric Nettles to Cameron Sutton with no time left on the clock at the half.

Jonesboro drew first blood in the second half on a 15-yard pass from Nettles to Singleton midway through the third quarter to take its second lead of the night. However, Griffin mounted on a six-play 47-yard drive to hang in there after an 8-yard TD run by Johnson.

From there, Jonesboro raced back down the field to score on a10-yard pass from Nettles to Cameron Sutton for a 36-27 lead early in the fourth quarter. Once again, Griffin matched it on a nine-play, 61 yard drive Parks capped with a 22-yard TD run to bring Griffin within two points, 36-34, of the Cardinals.

The Cardinals kept the pressure coming as Nettles, who ended the night completing 14-of-22 for 199 yard and 4 TDs, threw a 48-yard TD pass from Tauren Ferguson to put his club up 43-24 with 5:21 left to play.

That’s when Griffin did some of its finest work of the night, mounting a nine-play, 73-yard drive – aided by an encroachment call on fourth down – that was capped by Parks 16-yard TD pass to Freeman to bring the Bears to within two, 43-41, of the Cardinals with 2:21 to play.

With time winding down, Griffin defense held and forced Jonesboro to punt. The Cardinals were called off-sides and forced to re-punt. The snap sailed over the punter’s head and was recovered by GHS at the Jonesboro 13 with 1:09 left. Two plays later Griffin was in the end zone on a 13-yard pass from Parks to Freeman – the game’s leading receiver with 106 yards on seven receptions (he also had 76 yards on nine carries) – to provide the game-winning points with :57 left.

Jonesboro mounted a drive in response that was cut short when Nettles coughed up the ball and Jonathan Frost recovered it at the Jonesboro 23 with :32 left. Griffin used its victory formation to milk the clock down to :01 after Jonesboro used its remaining timeouts to get one last play in – a hail mary pass that was swatted harmlessly away.

Griffin improved to 37-2 in its all-time series with Jonesboro, which includes 19 wins in a row and 31 victories in the last 32 tries

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