VALPARAISO | Griffith only got a glimpse of what Justin Green could do last year, when the transfer from Las Vegas had to wait until the sectional to gain his eligibility.
He promptly carved up Highland for over 150 yards and two scores before leaving with an injury.
Panther Nation won't have to wait to see Green this season, and if Friday's scrimmage with Valpo was any indication of what's to come, it's going to be a fun.
The 200-pound senior ripped off runs of 20, 30 and 60 yards, the latter for a touchdown, and also scored from 10 yards out, displaying serious bounce and separation.
"I'm thankful to be back. It feels a lot better," Green said. "I've been working hard in the off-season. We're better as a team. It's not going to be just me. It's going to be the quarterback (Kyle Buikema), the receiver (Tyvon Johnson), everybody. I couldn't have done anything without my linemen."
Green had another score negated by a hold. Johnson hauled in a long floater from Buikema and raced 65 yards for a TD. Buikema also went 30 yards to the house on a wishbone keeper.
"Justin brings a lot to the game, but the team is everything to these kids," Griffith coach Jim Pickett said. "I really liked the way they pulled together. Running the option, keeping a variety of plays, it causes some confusion on the defensive side. The line played well. For the most part, it was a very productive night."
Collin Vinyard ripped off a 39-yard score in Valpo's opening sequence. The passing game never found its rhythm, but the Vikings were solid on the ground, featuring Mark Johnson. They registered five touchdowns, all on the ground, during its 12-play goal-to-go series.
"We only scripted three passes. (Quarterback) David (Hittinger) will be fine," Valpo coach Dave Coyle said. "We really wanted to push our running game. It's a point of concern, losing two good running backs. I was pleased with our linemen. They played together well. We're still trying to put all the pieces together. We pulled a couple guys over from the other side and they did a good job answering the call."
Valpo's defense lost contain on the edge a number of times, but Coyle wasn't overly concerned, going against a wishbone attack without specific preparation.
"We had our own goals," Coyle said. "We talked about hitting level, being crisp, working hard, and I thought we accomplished that. We'll take a look at the film and get back to business."