The Jones County Greyhounds will have a real test at home in the first round of the GHSA 5A playoffs as they face Griffin High School at 7:30 p.m. Friday night. Jones (9-1) comes in as the No. 2 seed from Region 3, while Griffin, despite a 9-1 record, comes in as the No. 3 seed in Region 3. Griffin lost to Whitewater but beat Starrs Mill, which put the three teams in a three-way tie, and their seeding was decided by a tiebreaker, which came down to points allowed.
“It’s a tough opening game for sure, but you end up having to play all the better teams anyway,” said Jones head coach Justin Rogers, who spent four years as an assistant at Griffin before coming to Jones. “We are thankful to finally get a home game in the playoffs, and that makes it even bigger for our community and our kids. We know we will have a big crowd and a great atmosphere for this game.”
Rogers said playing against a school where he used to coach would not be an issue at all. “I am good friends with Antonio Andrews who is the head coach now because he was on that staff and they still have some assistants I worked with, but the biggest thing is that it was five years ago when I was there and all of their players were in middle school back then,” Rogers said. “If I had left one or two years ago it would be a lot different.
Jones has had great success on offense, with quarterback Teldrick Ross putting up over 2,000 yards of total offense and Drake Bolus going over 1,000 yards rushing. “Those guys have been great for us,” Rogers said. “Teldrick has been banged up a little but has looked great this week at practice, and Drake just battles for this football team every single day. But what they do is not possible without great offensive line play, and our center, Quay Betha, has definitely been the leader. He makes all the calls for our line and has turned into an unbelievable center.”
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Jones has also had some great defensive play, led by mike linebacker Antonio Evans, who has 41 tackles for loss.
“I think the main thing is to stay away from giving up the big plays and being satisfied when they only gain four yards,” Rogers said. “They rely on the big play just like we do. The main thing that we need to do to win this football game is to stay away from these self-inflicted wounds that we did in our loss to Stockbridge. We have to be lined up right, and not make pre-snap mistakes and we just have to stay tough mentally. We feel like we are fairly healthy and ready to go.”
GHSA FOOTBALL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
Westside (H) vs. Windsor Forest (Savannah), 7:30 p.m.
First Presbyterian (H) vs. Tattnall Square, 7:30 p.m.
Jefferson County (H) vs. Southwest, 7:30 p.m.
Darlington (H) vs. Mount de Sales, 7:30 p.m.
Americus-Sumter (H) vs Howard., 7:30 p.m.
Warner Robins (H) vs. South Effingham, 7:30 p.m.
Mary Persons (H) vs. Carver (Columbus), 7:30 p.m.
Peach County (H) vs Savannah, 8 p.m.
Jones County (H) vs. Griffin 7:30 p.m.
Brunswick (H) vs. Northside 7 p.m.