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MAHONE: Griffin still has upperhand in Jonesboro series

Derrick Mahone

Derrick Mahone

After 308 days, the wait is finally over for the Jonesboro Cardinals as they meet No. 3 Griffin.

It’s been almost a year since Griffin’s come-from-behind win at Tara Stadium on Nov. 11 eliminated the Cardinals from the playoffs in the first round.

The Cardinals were one first down away from winning, but they were unable to convert. A bad snap on a punt attempt set the Bears up for their game-winning touchdown.

Between the two teams, there are 28 starters back from that game, and there is no question that it will likely be a playoff type atmosphere at Griffin’s Memorial Stadium tonight for the Region 4B-AAAA contest.

The winner takes the upperhand in the region race.

Griffin has won seven straight regular season contests and has dominated the Cardinals in the lopsided series. The Bears lead it 37-2 and have won the last 19 meetings. You have to go back to Sept. 11, 1981 to find the last Jonesboro win.

Expect a good, close contest, but the Bears still prevail.

Lovejoy, which only dropped one spot in the Associated Press Class AAAAAA poll to No. 10, will get back on the winning track after a close, tough defeat at No. 8 Colquitt County.

Alpharetta will not be a pushover with strong-arm quarterback Josh Dobbs directing its spread attack, but the Wildcats grew up a lot in the hostile territory in Moultrie. Expect the Wildcats to bring the defensive pressure in this win.

Riverdale hits the road for the first time this season as it meets No. 10 Grady in a non-region contest. The Raiders are off to their best start since the 2005 season, which happens to be the last time they made the postseason.

Ti’Keem Cooper gives the Raiders enough offensive punch while the defense has only yielded 14 points. Look for the Raiders to pull to 3-0 heading into a big showdown with Dutchtown next week.

Speaking of the Bulldogs, they got on the winning track with a win over Henry County last week. For the second straight week, Dutchtown faces a winless foe when it travels to Luella. The Bulldogs should come out on top in this affair.

Stockbridge faces its third straight opponent that reached the playoffs last season. For the second straight week the Tigers will win.

Eagle’s Landing seems poised to get its first win of the season when Upson-Lee pays a visit.

Week Four Predictions

Winner Loser

Lovejoy Alpharetta

Locust Grove Morrow

Washington Mount Zion

Drew Rockdale

Ola McIntosh

Dutchtown Luella

Eagle’s Landing Upson-Lee

Stockbridge Columbia

Woodland Woodward

Griffin Jonesboro

Riverdale Grady

Mary Persons Henry County

Treutlen Strong Rock

Northgate North Clayton

Derrick Mahone is the sports editor for the Clayton News Daily/Henry Daily Herald newspapers. He can be reached dmahone@news-daily.com.