Hounds beat Griffin to advance to second round

The Greyhounds dismantled Griffin 32-8 Friday night in Jones County’s first state football playoff game at home since 2001.

That sends them on to the second round to play Wayne County in Jesup next Friday. Wayne shut out Thomas County Central 28-0 in their first round game.

But the otherwise wonderful night for the Greyhounds was marred by two things – the Griffin players’ fondness for fighting (two even went into the stands to fight with their own fans and were escorted from the stadium by law enforcement officers), and an ankle injury suffered by Jones County quarterback Teldrick Ross.

Ross, who ran for two touchdowns in the first half as the Greyhounds built a 23-8 lead, was hurt midway through the third quarter when he was sacked, and his right foot was immediately put into a protective boot brace.

It is unknown if he will be available next week. Ross injured his left ankle in the Hampton game and was able to return for Jones County’s next game, but that was after the Greyhounds had an extra week off before that game, giving him extra time to heal.

As for the fighting, it mirrored Griffin’s actions in the spring scrimmage when the Greyhounds visited the Bears last May. Jones County’s coaches were able to keep their players from being bated into brawling, but things were so heated by the end of Friday’s game that Jones County coach Justin Rogers ordered his players to go to the far end zone and not shake hands with the visitors, as is tradition. Gray police officers, Jones County sheriff’s deputies and school officials also lined up across the middle of the field immediately after the game ended and would not permit the Griffin players to approach the Jones County players or their side of the field.

“I hate that it got to that point, but they were out of control,” Rogers said. “We were being proactive to try to keep our players out of trouble.”

Both teams had to punt the first time they got the ball Friday. The Bears were backed up deep in their territory by Jones County’s punt and a couple of penalties, and on a play from their 9, quarterback Avious Nelson was sacked by a pack of Greyhounds for a safety that gave Jones County a 2-0 lead.

The teams traded punts twice more before Jones County was able to drive 51 yards for its first touchdown. Drake Bolus leaped over a tackler at the line of scrimmage and raced on into the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown to finish the march.

Ross broke free on a draw play over left guard for a 44-yard touchdown run the next time Jones County got the ball, boosting its lead to 16-0.

But the Bears cut that lead in half thanks to a trick play. Backed up at their 7 and with Jones County ready to try to block the punt, the Bears instead faked the kick and had big blocking back Mike Webb take the snap and heave a pass to Malik Taylor, who broke a late tackle to score a 93-yard touchdown. He then took a wildcat snap and ran in for the two-point conversion, making it 16-8.

But the Greyhounds responded with another 51-yard drive, with Ross scoring on another draw, this time for 22 yards.

Jones County had a chance to add to the lead late in the quarter when Ross faked a run and passed to Tyler Williams, who ran down the sideline for more than 40 yards before Taylor chased him down and batted the ball from his hand just before he reached the goal line. The fumble sailed through the back end of the end zone for a touchback, preventing the touchdown and giving Griffin the ball at the 20.

The teams traded punts again early in the second half until Ross went down.

But on Jones County’s first possession after the quarterback was hurt, the Greyhounds went 76 yards for another touchdown. Bolus moved from running back to quarterback and either ran the ball himself or handed off to running back Semaj Ingram.

After the Greyhounds drove to the 2, Rogers shifted to Jones County’s power formation and Demontae Trawick ran in on a short pitch for the touchdown.

The Greyhounds got their final points on another safety when JaDarian Boykin sacked backup quarterback Shun Foster in the end zone with 8:10 to play.

-- Chuck Thompson | chuck@jcnews.com


The Jones County News

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