Griffins Humble Cyclones

Fairfield Central’s Larry G. Bell fights off a tackle. (Photo/DeAnna Robinson)

Fairfield Central’s Kalil Keitt (23) sets his sights on Chester quarterback Tommy Sanders (17). (Photo/DeAnna Robinson)

WINNSBORO – The Chester Cyclones entered the 2013 season riding a wave of hype and high expectations, returning nearly their entire force from last year’s Class 3A Region III championship team. The hype and expectations appeared to trouble Fairfield Central not in the least Friday night, as the Griffins smoked their archrivals 50-26 at E.K. McLendon Stadium in Winnsboro.

The Griffins rattled off 22 unanswered points in the first 12 minutes of play, behind Larry G. Bell touchdown runs of 3 and 2 yards, as well as a 14-yard dash by Joseph Young. Compton Walker was perfect on point-after attempts for the night, and tossed a 2-point conversion pass to Javahnne Neal following Bell’s 3-yard touchdown run on the opening drive.

Bell, Young and quarterback DeAndre Belton led the charge for the Griffins’ ground game, which chewed up 259 rushing yards against the Cyclone defense.

“Our guys up front did a really good job blocking, and we’ve got some good running backs back there and they’re starting to get into their groove,” Griffins’ head coach Demetrius Davis said. “We’ve only got one senior on that whole (offensive line) unit. Three juniors, a 10th grader and a senior. They’ve done a great job.”

Belton also threw for 125 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown pass to Kewaun Squirewell in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter. It was his highest passing total for the season thus far.

“We kind of wanted to give DeAndre a chance to throw the ball a little bit,” Davis said. “I thought he looked good throwing the ball around. He can do it. If we need him to do it, he can do it. It was part of our game plan this week to come in and throw it around a little bit.”

Down 22-0 going into the second quarter, the Cyclones broke a big play to spoil the shutout when Chester quarterback Tommy Sanders hit Daniel McClurkin with a 53-yard scoring strike. Jake Wright’s kick cut the Fairfield lead to 22-7 with 9:52 to go in the half, and with plenty of football yet to be played, the Cyclones felt a surge of momentum swing their way.

The swing was, however, brief, as the Griffins struck back and struck back quickly. Shadarius Hopkins took the ensuing kick at the Fairfield 19 and returned it to the 35. A penalty against the Cyclones on a Griffin first-and-10 moved the ball to the 40, and on first-and-5, Belton executed the perfect read-option. Pulling the ball from the running back, Belton pumped once to the receiver, tucked the ball and exploded for a 60-yard touchdown run.

“You couldn’t draw it on the board any better than that,” Davis said. “I could take that tape and people might pay me a lot of money to hold a clinic (on the read-option). That kind of took some of the air out of them, because they were really starting to get some momentum.”

Following Young’s second touchdown run of the night for the Griffins, Wright booted a 37-yard field goal for the Cyclones with 1:51 to go in the half to make the score 36-10. Bell answered with his third score of the evening, a 2-yard run with 11 seconds remaining, to up the ante to 43-10 at the break.

Fairfield Central’s final blow was set up by a Hopkins interception of Sanders at the Chester 17 with 2:33 to go in the third quarter. By the time the quarter expired, the Griffins had pounded the ball down to the Chester 10. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Belton found Squirewell from 10-yards out to make the score 50-10.

The Griffin defense kept Sanders and the Cyclones on their heels all night, holding them to 44 yards rushing and 152 in the air – 123 of which came on big plays late in the game.

“This is my third season here,” Davis said, “and every year you go into the year saying ‘Who is going to be the guy to step up?’ This summer, I never would have called Kalil Keitt’s name or Davon Pearson’s name. We always knew Chanti (Jones) was going to be a good player, but Kalil and Pearson and Wallace Brown, those guys came out of nowhere and they’re really good football players.”

Chester added a pair of touchdowns and 2-point conversions in the final quarter, on passes of 57 and 66 yards respectively, but the hole was too deep and had been dug too early for the Cyclones to wiggle their way out.

“Momentum in this game is so big,” Davis said. “That’s why we try to get on people fast. We try to get on people fast and make some plays. They had some plays that happened that made them go (down). At the end of the day, I just think our kids played that good.”

The Griffins travel to Union County this week to face the Yellow Jackets. Last year, Union County eked out a 42-41 win in a classic in Winnsboro.

“If it’s anything like last year, we’re going to have to get them off the field,” Davis said. “We didn’t do a good job – we gave up four and a half million yards to them last year. Offensively, I think we did a good enough job to win the game last year. We scored 41 points. They sad thing was, they scored 42.”

Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. at Union County Stadium.

 

FC 22-21-0-7 – 50

CH 0-10-0-16 – 26

First Quarter

FC – Larry G. Bell 3-run. Compton Walker 2-pass to Javahnne Neal. (9:49)

FC – Joe Young 14-run. Walker kick. (6:02)

FC – L.G. Bell 2-run. Walker kick. (4:30)

Second Quarter

CH – Tommy Sanders 53-pass to Daniel McClurkin. Jake Wright kick. (9:52)

FC – DeAndre Belton 60-run. Walker kick. (9:26)

FC – J. Young 2-run. Walker kick. (4:18)

CH – J. Wright 37 FG. (1:51)

FC – L.G. Bell 2-run. Walker kick. (0:11)

Fourth Quarter

FC – D. Belton 10-pass to Kewaun Squirewell. Walker kick. (11:59)

CH – Quan Caldwell 57-pass to Earl Hinton. Q. Caldwell 2-run. (10:04)

CH – T. Sanders 66-pass to Broderick Roscoe. B. Roscoe 2-run. (6:02)

Records: FC:3-0/0-0 CH: 1-3/0-0

CH          FC

First Downs                      7             16

Rushes/Yards             28-44     40-259

Passing Yards                 152         127

C-A-I-TD               5-18-1-3               11-24-0-1

Penalties/Yards                4-35       5-50

RUSHING: CH – Lorenzo White 8-(-22), Broderick Roscoe 11-30, Tommy Sanders 9-36. FC – DeAndre Belton 5-87, Larry G. Bell 14-60, Joe Young 10-57, Javahnne Neal 2-14, Stanley McManus 3-16, Jalen Copeland 1-(-3), Markell Whittaker 3-12, Monteco Johnson 1-10, Randanion Sampson 1-2. (#42 1-1).

RECEIVING: CH – Darron Dye 3-29, Earl Hinton 1-57, Quan Caldwell 1-66. FC – Tyren White 4-67, Kewaun Squirewell 2-20, Joe Young 1-4, Tavarus Cook 2-30, Javaris Cook 3-22.

PASSING: CH – Quan Copeland 2-3, 70 yards, 0 INT, 1 TD; Tommy Sanders 3-15, 82 yards, 1 INT, 2 TD. FC – DeAndre Belton 10-21, 125 yards, 0 INT, 1 TD; Compton Walker 1-1, 2 yards, 1 PAT; Stanley McManus 0-2.

Fairfield Central: 0-0/3-0. Chester 0-0/1-3