Griffin 35, Northgate 0
Vikings come up empty against fifth ranked Griffin
by Doug Gorman
GRIFFIN – Northgate's game Friday against fifth-ranked Griffin didn't count in the region standings.
That's was about the only good thing that the Vikings could take out of a 35-0 loss on the road to a high-flying Bears offense.
The loss dropped Northgate dropped to 0-2 overall, while Griffin improved to 2-0.
The Bears offense finished with more than 350 yards, including 196 in the second half as quarterback Jaquez Parks connected with four wide receivers on a n ight where he threw for 160 ya rds a nd two touchdowns.
'They have four Division I wide receivers, and they love to spread it out,' said Northgate head coach Tommy Walburn. 'If you make a mistake against them, it really stands out.'
Northgate nearly foiled Griffin's shutout bid with a final march of its own in the waning moments of the game, but the drive stalled on fourth down when the Bears put together a stop short of the goal line as the game expired.
Walburn said he won't dwell on the loss, but he wants them to remember it.
'We aren't going to yell and scream, but we want to learn from it,' said Walburn, whose team returns home to play North Clayton next week. 'We will come back out at 7:30 next Friday and be ready to play.'
Griffin saved its most impressive offensive drive until midway through the final quarter marching 90 yards in just under six minutes. Malik Miller capped it with a 1-yard run while finishing with two touchdowns and 80 yards rushing.
Leading 14-0 at the end of the first half, Griffin used a pair of third-quarter touchdowns to put the game out of reach.
Northgate's defense, which was stout in a 14-7 season opening loss to Heritage- Conyers, put together a stand late in the period when Drew Latham and Kyle Feldbauer sacked Parks to force a punt.
But a struggling Viking offense couldn't take advantage of the field position. An interception by Griffin's Jordan Colbert led to a quick three-play drive that ended with Marquez Martin scoring when he fell on Parks' goal-line fumble in the end zone.
For the second consecutive week, Northgate's quarterback battle remained unsettled. Bo Zachary and Tyler Rowland combined to finish 0-for-5 passing.
Zachary started, but Rowland got his turn midway through the third quarter and led the Vikings on two impressive second-half drives.
The Vikings ran for four first downs runs during the series, helped by long gains from Benton Washington and Kevin Teasley and a key third-down conversion from T.J. Womack.
It stalled, however, when Griffin stopped the Vikings at the Bears 10 on fourth down.
Rowland led a final drive to the Bears goal line with help from a pair of 15-plus yard runs from freshman running back Ton Evans.
Still, Walburn wasn't ready to name a starting quarterback heading into next week's game against North Clayton.
'We may know something my midweek,' he said. 'We still have to look at some film, and do some evaluating.'
The fifth-ranked Griffin Bears used a stingy defense in first half and held the Vikings to just two first downs and 15 yards of total offense.
Griffin set the tone for the game by keeping the first-down sticks moving, rolling up 178 yards of total offense.
The Bears found the end zone on their first drive of the night, marching 81-yards by mixing up the run and the pass.
Parks set up the touchdown with a 50-yard pass to Trey Willis.
Two plays later Willis caught the touchdown pass from Parks for 7-yards out with 6:25 left in the first half.
It was the second week in a row Griffin scored on its first series of the game.
Northgate had it best chance to score in the first half after James Skalski intercepted a pass and returned it to the Bears 27, but the drive end when Griffin intercepted the ball right back to kill Northgate's best scoring chance of the first half.
The Bears put together their second scoring drive of the night right before the end of the first half when Miller capped a scoring drive with 2:44 left before the break with a 9-yard run.
'I thought we played a pretty good first half,' Walburn said. 'We were still in the game until the interception.'
BEARS 35, VIKINGS 0 Northgate 0 0 0 0-0 Griffin 7 7 14 7 - 35 Scoring Summary First Quarter Griffin-Jaquez Parks 7 pass to Trey Willis (Tristen Matthews kick) 6:27 Second Griffin-Malik Miller 9-run (Matthew kick 2:44) Third Quarter Griffin-Parks 29 Pass to Willis (Matthews kick 11:04) GriffIn-Marquez Martin recovers fumble in the end zone. Fourth Quarter Griffin-Miller 1 run (Matthews kick 6:22)