Griffins Host Raiders in Region Rematch

Fairfield Central’s Joseph Young breaks into the open field during the Oct. 18 meeting between the Griffins and Keenan. (Photo/Joe Seibles)

WINNSBORO – After enjoying a week off during the first round of the Class 2A state playoffs, the number 2 seeded Griffins will host a Region III rematch tonight (Nov. 15), facing the Keenan Raiders at E.K. McLendon Stadium. The Raiders dispatched Powdersville last week in round one, 19-15.

“(Keenan) looked pretty good out there,” said Griffins head coach Demetrius Davis, who was at Friday night’s first round game. “They played well enough to win.”

The Griffins will now be faced with the onerous task of defeating the same team twice in one season, a position they could very well find themselves in once more before reaching the title game on Dec. 6.

Back on Oct. 18, the Griffins overcame a penalty laden game to shutout the Raiders 38-0, and held their leading rusher, Peter Easaw, to just 26 yards on 17 carries.

“(Easaw) can beat you and our focus was to make sure he didn’t beat us,” Davis said after the Oct. 18 meeting. “That’s why we did some things in the kicking game to limit his touches. And defensively I think we got after him pretty good.”

Griffin quarterback DeAndre Belton threw an uncharacteristic three interceptions against Keenan last month, something that Fairfield will have to avoid if they plan on putting the Raiders away twice in less than a month.

“It comes down to execution,” Davis said. “If we execute, we’ll be OK.”

In spite of the interceptions, Belton threw for 195 yards and one TD against Keenan on Oct. 18, while the Griffin ground game chewed up 331 yards of offense. Larry G. Bell and Joseph Young each went over 100 yards, with 124 and 114 respectively. It will be no mystery for the Raiders as to what Fairfield Central’s formula for success will be – run the ball as much as possible until you can’t; then pass. Will their familiarity with the Griffin game plan earn dividends?

“It’s one thing to know what’s coming,” Davis said, “and another to be able to do something about it.”

As for the Griffins, Davis said his staff will stick to the basics.

“The last thing you want to do is overthink and out-coach yourself and try to reinvent the wheel to make it run more smoothly,” Davis said. “This game is not about Keenan or anybody else. It’s about us doing what we do.”

Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.

Class 2A Division 1 Scores

Round 1, Nov. 8

Upper State

Columbia-18 Indian Land-5

Crescent-28 Mid-Carolina-26

Keenan-19 Powdersville-15

Newberry-36 Carolina-14

Lower State

Wade Hampton-57 Battery Creek-20

Waccamaw-18 Edisto-13

Aynor-52 Marion-26

Ridgeland-Hardeeville-14 Lake City-12

Round 2, Nov. 15

Upper State

Columbia @ Cheraw

Crescent @ Pelion

Keenan @ Fairfield Central

Newberry @ Pendleton

Lower State

Wade Hampton @ Dillon

Waccamaw @ Lake Marion

Aynor @ Timberland

Ridgeland-Hardeeville @ Loris