Jones County 32, Griffin 8

Gray - Back in the spring, Jones County and Griffin played, and it wasn't pretty, the Greyhounds won 35-6.

The meeting in the first round of the GHSA Class AAAAA playoffs wasn't much different.

Jones County got started slowly, but took control in the second quarter en route to a 32-8 win in the Greyhounds' first home playoff game since 2001.

"Anytime we can play well in front of them fans is big, just because we got some of the best fans in the dadgum state," Jones County head coach, and ex-Griffin offensive coordinator, Justin Rogers said. "They show up, they love their Greyhounds, they're great people."

Who saw a pretty good game, Jones County getting 219 yards on 40 carries and stuffing Griffin.

The fifth-ranked Greyhounds improved to 10-1 and will travel to Wayne County in the second round. The ninth-ranked Bears end the season at 9-2.

It was by far Griffin's worst game, in every phase, this season and worst in awhile.

"Oh my goodness, yes," said Griffin head coach Antonio Andrews. "The first quarter, we missed a few tackles, had a few penalties that cost us big and we got down. The offensive line wasn't producing.

"They got us. They got us."

Adding to the misery was an incident in the third quarter that started in the stands and included player climbing into the stands. At least one player was escorted from the bench as the game stopped and Griffin coaches and officials tried to keep the calm.

Both quarterbacks went out. Jones County's Teldrick Ross spent most of the second half in a boot with his right ankle taped while Griffin's Avious Nelson left after a crunching sack with 3;55 left in the third quarter.

Ross had been battling a left ankle injury.

"I thought he was pretty close (to 100 percent)," Rogers said.

Ross's absence wasn't felt in a game where Jones County was pretty much in control from the start.

"We felt like we had a good matchup against them. We felt like our D-line versus their O-line was going to be a matchup we could really win," Rogers said. "I think that's when it showed up. They couldn't pass (block), they couldn't block us in the run game.

"That just kind of helped us get everything going."

Jones County started controlling things up front early, with JaDarian Boykin and Cameron Snead leading the way on a safety on Griffin's second possession.

And so the night went, Griffin finishing with minus 14 yards on the ground, thanks to 13 tackles behind the line.

After a Griffin three-and-out, Jones County had a 51-yard touchdown pass nullified by an illegal shift, but the Greyhounds got the points back after another three-and-out, Ross starting the drive with a 23-yard gain and Bolus ending it with a 20-yard touchdown.

Josh Skinner's kick made it 9-0 with 1:08 left in the first quarter.

Ross, who had 8 yards, escaped a behind-the-line tackle and went 44 yards for a score after another short Griffin possession for a 16-0 lead.

But the Bears pulled out one out of the tricks bag, facing fourth and 21 from their own 6. Big lineman Mike Webb, weighing about 285 pounds, took the snap and pushed a short pass to Terrell Jester, who went the distance.

Jester ran in the conversion, and suddenly the Bears were within 16-8 at the 7:46 mark of the half.

It then took them four tries to kick off without a penalty: offsides, out of bounds left and out of bounds right. Jones County took over on its 49, and scored six plays later on Ross's 22-yard run.

The Greyhounds were set to all but put it away when Tyler Williams took in Drake Bolus's pass and raced down the sideline only to be caught by Jester, who poked the ball out inside the 5 and into the end zone for a touchback.

Ross went out with 8;27 left in the third after losing eight yards on a sack. The defense gave up two first downs and forced a punt, and then the Greyhounds put Bolus (104 yards rushing) behind center, and they marched 76 yards in eight plays for another score, Demontae Trawick going in from the 2.

Boykin led the charge on another safety with 8:10 left in the game.

The Bears finished with 201 yards passing, but 94 came on the fake punt and 55 came in the final minute.

"The defense played lights out, the offense had good field position all night," Rogers said. "We played well. We moved the ball. We stayed consistent getting yards. I thought we played really well."