Griffins Knock Out Raiders, Advance to Round 3

 

Fairfield’s Byron Sampson (5) takes the opening kick to the Griffin 47. (Photo/DeAnna Robinson)

 

Compton Walker (4) scores on a 30-yard pass from DeAndre Belton. (Photo/Joe Seibles)

WINNSBORO – It wasn’t the most attractive win in the annals of Fairfield Central football lore, but it was a win nonetheless as the Griffins shook out the cobwebs from a week off from round one play to dispatch the Keenan Raiders 26-0 Friday night in round two of the Class 2A Division 1 state playoffs.

“At this point, it’s all about winning and moving on,” Griffins head coach Demetrius Davis said. “But if we play like this, we won’t be doing this too many more times.”

The usually abundant Griffin offense clanged out only 292 total yards while the team as a whole was hit with 135 yards in penalties. Quarterback DeAndre Belton, who tossed three interceptions in the last meeting with Keenan back on Oct. 18, was picked off once Friday night when Keenan’s Kendrick Gathers jumped a route at the Raider 4-yard line with 9:48 left in the second quarter. At that point, the Griffins held a slim 8-0 lead, tallied by Larry G. Bell’s 3-yard run at the end of a four-play drive with 4:16 to play in the opening period.

“I don’t know if that had something to do with being off for a week,” Davis said, “but we just didn’t play good today. We’ve got to play better offensively if we want to make a run in this thing like we did last year.”

But if the Griffins were sluggish, the Raiders were hapless. Keenan was unable to take advantage of Belton’s miscue, thanks in large part to recently coronated North-South All Star Compton Walker.

Gathers returned the interception to the Keenan 24, but a penalty set the Raiders back to their own 10. Three plays later, Walker picked off Keenan’s Deion Trezevant at the Raider 46 to return the favor. Belton and the Griffins then went back to work, slogging through a penalty-laden drive to the 30. From there, Belton hit Walker with a touchdown shot to go up 14-0. Walker then converted the extra pair, hitting Chanti Jones on the point-after pass.

The pickoff was Walker’s second of the night, his first coming at the 5:51 mark in the first quarter. The first pick ended Keenan’s first possession of the night at the Raider 25 and set up Bell’s opening touchdown run. Walker connected with Javahnne Neal on the 2-point conversion to give the Griffins the early 8-0 lead.

“We got after them on defense,” Davis said. “Compton Walker, in the first half, he had two interceptions and a touchdown. Without him, we really would have struggled.”

With just under 6 minutes to play in the first half, and down by only two scores, Keenan took over after the kickoff at their own 29. The Griffins defense, however, quickly began working the Raiders in the opposite direction, pushing them back to their own 24 before rattling a fumble out of Trezevant. Jones recovered for the Griffins at the Raider 20 and the Fairfield offense quickly drove to the Keenan 2. Penalties set the Griffins back to the 23, and the drive stalled at the 15 where they faced a fourth-and-goal. Walker then came on to boot his first field goal of the season, a 32-yarder that gave the Griffins a 19-0 halftime lead.

The Griffin defense held Keenan to an abysmal 6 net rushing yards, with leading Raider rusher Peter Easaw held to 7 yards on six carries and Gathers knocked back into the negative for -25 yards on four carries.

“Our defense is good enough for us to win,” Davis said. “Our defense has got to have the mentality that if we score just one time, that should be enough. I’m just a little frustrated that offensively we couldn’t get some things going. I don’t know if it was my offense, I don’t know if we never could get any momentum going, we couldn’t get into a rhythm. It was just a funny feeling on the sideline.”

Bell added the final points of the night on his second touchdown run from 3-yards out with 9:04 left in the game. Walker chipped in the PAT to close it out for the Griffins.

“It’s going to get a little tougher as it goes,” Davis said. “Whoever comes in here (next week), we’ve got to play better. The good news is, I’ve got Monday to work on it. I think we’ll be fine. I promise you, next week it’ll be a better offensive team out there.”

The Griffins will host the Newberry Bulldogs next Friday night at 7:30. The #6 seeded Dogs bumped off #3 Pendleton Friday night, 21-9, at Pendleton.

 

KHS – 0-0-0-0 – 0

FCHS – 8-11-0-7 – 26

First Quarter

FC – Larry G. Bell 2 run. Javahnne Neal 3 pass from Compton Walker. (4:16)

Second Quarter

FC – Compton Walker 30 pass from DeAndre Belton. Chanti Jones 3 pass from C. Walker. (6:07)

FC – C. Walker 32 FG. (3:15)

Fourth Quarter

FC – L.G. Bell 3 run. C. Walker kick. (9:04)

                                                                KHS                                        FCHS

First Downs                                        9                                              15

Rushes/Yards                                    36-6                                       40-220

Passing Yards                                     48                                           72

C-A-I                                                      5-18-2                                   6-17-1

Fumbles/Lost                                    3-2                                          1-1

Penalties/Yards                                                11-87                                     12-135

Third Down Conv.                            0-9                                          2-8

Fourth Down Conv.                         1-4                                          0-2

RUSHING: KHS – Tiski Gray 8-17, Tyreke Ashford-Jones 2-(-2), Deion Trezevant 15-7, Peter Easaw 6-7, Kendrick Gathers 4-(-25), Tyreick Davis-Newton 1-2. FCHS – Larry G. Bell 13-62, Joseph Young 9-54, DeAndre Belton 10-82, Randanion Sampson 2-5, Javaris Cook 1-2, Javahnne Neal 1-(-5), Tyren White 3-13, Shadarius Hopkins 1-7.

RECEIVING: KHS – Deion Trezevant 1-0, Kendrick Gathers 2-21, Jalon Wilson 2-11, Peter Easaw 1-16. FCHS – Tyren White 1-7, Joseph Young 1-9, Byron Sampson 1-12, Tavaris Cook 2-14, Compton Walker 1-30.

PASSING: KHS – Deion Trezevant 5-16, 48 yards, 2 INT; Kendrick Gathers 1-2, 0 yards. FCHS – DeAndre Belton 6-17, 72 yards, INT, TD.