Bengals, Griffins Get in First Licks of 2013

Blythewood’s Franklin Jordan (37) splits the Airport defense in game one of Friday’s four-way scrimmage.

Fairfield’s Chanti Jones (34) wraps up Airport quarterback Michael Miller.

FAIRFIELD – First impressions don’t really amount to much in the world of football. Teammates are still getting acclimated to one another, coaches are still placing all their pieces on the chessboard and special teams are still working to find what makes them so special. Still, Friday’s controlled scrimmage, featuring Blythewood, Fairfield Central, Airport and Rock Hill, gave coaches their first opportunity to see how their kids held up in live action. It may not be a barometer for how the 2013 season will shake out, but it at least is a sort of windsock.

“We got pushed around a little bit,” Fairfield Central head coach Demetrius Davis said of the Griffins’ performances. “But that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to see how our guys did against some of those bigger 4A schools. All in all, I thought it was a good day.”

Although no official score was kept, you can bet Davis and the other head coaches were, at least in the backs of their minds, keeping a tally. And the Griffins indeed had a pretty good day, outscoring Rock Hill 20-13 on a 10-yard touchdown pass from DeAndre Belton to Tavaris Cook on the final play of the opening match and hammering Airport 27-7 (the JV squad gave up a pair of late scores to make the final 27-21). The Griffins were edged out by Blythewood, 13-7, but Davis said he felt good about the Griffins holding their own against the Bengals.

The one thing a head coach doesn’t want, however, is an injury in such a contest and the Griffins suffered just that. Against Blythewood, starting left tackle Malik Mickle went down with a wound that re-aggravated an old foot injury, Davis said. Mickle’s status was not known at press time.

The scrimmage was ultimately about improvement, and Davis said the Griffins need to get more consistent snaps on offense and work on finishing tackles on defense.

“We came out of it with a pretty good mind-set,” Davis said. “These guys know they are a work in progress and they know there’s work to do. But they expect to win every time they play.”

Tonight (Aug. 16) Fairfield Central hosts Lakewood in the nightcap of the Fairfield County Jamboree at 9 p.m. The festivities begin at 6 p.m. with Timmonsville vs. Ben Lippen, followed by Keenan vs. South Pointe and Ridge View vs. Sumter. Admission is $6.