Griffins Smash ‘Rocks

 

Markell Whitaker takes a pass from Stanley McManus and races past the Shamrock defense. (photo/DeAnna Robinson)

WINNSBORO − Not only did the Fairfield Central Griffins (4-1, 1-0) earn their first region win Friday night, but for the first time under head coach Demetrius Davis they eclipsed the 70-point mark, throttling Eau Claire 72-0.

On a night when it seemed nothing could go right for the Shamrocks, the Griffins improved their all-time record over Eau Claire to 22-1.

“We played pretty good considering the fact that we only had 33 offensive snaps,” Davis said Monday night. “The 72-0 score can be misleading because I don’t think Eau Claire played their best game and I don’t think we’re that good.”

Fairfield scored 10 touchdowns on those 33 offensive plays. The scoring started just 90 seconds into the game when Joe Young skated his way untouched up the middle for a 9-yard touchdown run to cap a three-play, 67-yard drive. The longest play of the game, and the drive, came on the first offensive play from scrimmage when Stanley McManus connected with a wide open Nick Rikard for a 42-yard pickup. Rikard made his return to the gridiron Friday night after nursing an injury the past few weeks. Davis feels like the return of the 6-foot-2 senior has solidified the core group of wide outs.

 “We knew getting Nick back was going to be a plus because he gives us an added dimension and that receiving corps is just more complete with him,” Davis said.

Stuck in an early hole, things would get worse for Eau Claire on their ensuing possession when Shadarius Hopkins wrapped up Tierrell Brown in the end zone for a safety.

Leading 9-0, the Griffins began to pour it on just a minute later. From 9 yards away, Young caught a simple screen pass and picked his way through a host of Shamrock defenders to cap a three-play, 41-yard drive to extend the Griffin lead to 16-0. By the end of the first quarter, Fairfield mounted a 30-0 advantage. McManus scored one of his two rushing touchdowns, followed by a 7-yard swing pass to Markell Whitaker to put an exclamation point on the first frame.

Fairfield’s defense made another appearance on the scoreboard in the second quarter when Jeff Russell scooped up an Eau Claire fumble and rumbled 30 yards for the score.

As quickly as the game began, it was over for the Shamrocks who fell to 0-5 this season. Davis pulled his starters at halftime after they established an insurmountable 51-0 lead.

McManus was the star of the first half with 162 total yards (72 rushing and 90 passing) to go along with four scores (two rushing and two passing). In comparison, the entire Shamrock offense had only mustered a bleak 17 yards at halftime.

Second half highlights by the Griffin bench included a nifty 20-yard end-around touchdown run by Roderick Sparks and 63 yards on eight carries by sophomore running back Jerrell Suber-O’Neal.

The Griffin defense pitched its third shutout in five games and showed a few new looks with more pre-snap movement in the front seven.

“Our staff felt like we could move our guys around a little bit and put them in position to make some plays,” Davis said.

Eau Claire only mustered 103 offensive yards on 42 plays, an average of just 2.5 yards per play, and were held to a dismal 0-7 on third down conversions.

Davis anticipates the defensive prep being vastly different as his staff and players prepare to play Columbia on the road Friday. The Capitals’ new coach has brought a new-look triple-option offense with him from Florida and Davis said his players will have to be fundamentally sound to prevent big gains on the ground.

“It is one of those offenses that you don’t look forward to because it is hard to prepare for,” he said on Monday. “We’re going to work on our fundamentals and playing assignment football.”

Kickoff at Memorial Stadium is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

 

 

 

Scoring

EC: 0-0-0-0 — 0

FC: 30-21-14-7 — 72

First quarter

FC – Joe Young 9 run. Isias Leon kick. (10:37)

FC – Shadarius Hopkins safety. (7:52)

FC – J. Young 9 pass from Stanley McManus. I. Leon kick. (6:50)

FC – S. McManus 21 run. I. Leon kick. (2:30)

FC – Markell Whitaker 7 pass from S. McManus. I. Leon kick. (0:50)

Second quarter

FC – J. Young 25 run. I. Leon kick. (7:44)

FC – J. Russell 30 fumble return. I. Leon kick. (3:14)

FC – S. McManus 5 run. I. Leon kick. (0:27)

Third quarter

FC – R. Sparks 20 run. I. Leon kick. (7:22)

FC – R. Sampson 10 run. I. Leon kick. (5:02)

Fourth quarter

FC – J. Suber-O’Neal 1 run. I. Leon kick. (9:45)

Team stats

 

                                                            FC                               EC

First Downs                                        9                                  4

Total Yards                                         341                              103

Rushes/Yards                                      21-234                         27-9

Passing Yards                                     107                              94

C-A-INT                                             7-9-0                            6-13-1

Penalties/Yards                                   3-30                             2-12

Fumbles/Lost                                      4-2                               6-3

Individual stats

RUSHING: FC – S. McManus 5-72, J. Suber-O’Neal 8-63, J. Young 4-46, R. Sparks 1-20, N. Rikard 1-31, R. Sampson 1-10. EC – T. Brown 27-9, M. Vereen 1-10, J. Jones 1-5.

PASSING: FC – S. McManus 6-8, 90 yards, 2 TD; M. Whitaker 1-1 17 yards. EC – T. Thomas 2-9 13 yards, INT; M. Chinn 4-4 81 yards.

RECEIVING: FC – N. Rikard 2-51, M. Whitaker 2-24, C. Davis 1-17, J. Young 1-9, M. Johnson 1-6. EC – C. Cohen 2-48, E. Gassoway 1-20.