Young, Griffins Send Rebels Packing

Joseph Young (21) blasts through the Mid-Carolina defense. (Photo/DeAnna Robinson)

FCHS-55, MCHS-14

WINNSBORO – Past performance in no guarantee of future returns. So they say on Wall Street, and so said the Griffins on the gridiron Friday night as they demolished the Rebels of Mid-Carolina – a team that had pushed them to the brink just seven days before – 55-14 in round one of the Class 2A/Division 1 state playoffs.

“We didn’t play any better than we did last week,” Griffins head coach Demetrius Davis said. “We just played with a little more intensity. We made plays when we needed to make plays. We did the same thing, but we executed when we needed to execute.”

If it was all about execution, then the chief executioners were Joseph Young and the Griffin offensive line. Young eviscerated the Rebels, rushing for 273 yards, 150 of which came on a pair of touchdown runs in the first quarter. Young broke a 60-yarder with 4:21 to go in the first to put the Griffins up 6-0. He topped that with a 90-yard blast off right tackle with less than a minute remaining in the opening frame.

“Travius Williams is our right tackle, and he’s got a chance to be a special player,” Davis said. “That 90-yard run was because of Travius Williams’ block. That linebacker tried to come up and he drove him nearly into the parking lot and that gave Joe the opportunity to break that run.”

In the second quarter, the Griffins opened up the passing game. Stanley McManus, who threw for 133 yards on the night, lit up the Rebels with three touchdown strikes in the second – two to Shadarius Hopkins and one to Byron Sampson – to give Fairfield Central a 34-0 halftime lead. The performance of McManus and the entire Griffin offense was a far cry from the 7-0 squeaker they pulled out against Mid-Carolina on Halloween night.

“Each week (McManus) gets a little better,” Davis said. “He’s his own toughest critic and he was disappointed in the way he played last week, so I knew he was going to come out here and play tonight.”

The Rebels broke the shutout early in the third on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Corey Stone to Mackenzie Flemon. They added to their final tally late in the same frame on a 64-yard run by Terrell Long. But the Griffins, who already had the game well in hand, matched the Rebels point for point through the third.

Josh Bell raced into the end zone from 12 yards out with 6:15 on the clock, capping a 50-yard drive set into motion by Hopkins’s kickoff return from the Griffin 22 to mid-field.

The Rebels failed to cover the ensuing kickoff, giving the Griffins the ball right back at the Mid-Carolina 24 with 6:15 left on the clock. Two minutes later, Jerrell Suber-O’Neal added the Griffins’ second third-quarter score on a 1-yard run.

The Griffin defense, which held Mid-Carolina’s 1,000+ yard passer to just 39 yards last week, again hampered Stone, limiting him to 79 yards through the air. Early in the fourth quarter, Byron Sampson picked off a Stone pass near mid-field and returned it to the Rebel 25.

“Defensively, I think we’re pretty doggone good,” Davis said. “If we’re going to win this thing, we’re going to have to win it on that side of the ball. Now we can score some points and we can do some things, but if we can stop jokers on defense, we’re going to have a chance to win it.”

A pair of O’Neal carries took the Griffins to the Rebel 6, and from there backup freshman quarterback Antonio Jackson hammered it home for the final score of the night.

“It’s that time of year. Those guys don’t want to go home yet,” Davis said. “We’ve got an opportunity to do some things, but we’ve got to play each week. Each week the plot thickens, it’s going to get a little harder.”

The Griffins host another team of Rebels this Friday as Strom Thurmond comes in for round two. The Rebels bounced Pendleton from the first round last week, 49-14.

 

MC: 0-0-14-0 – 14

FC: 13-21-14-7 – 55

 

Scoring

First Quarter

FC – Joseph Young 60 run (pass failed) 4:21.

FC – J. Young 90 run (Isias Leon kick). 0:51

Second Quarter

FC – Shadarius Hopkins 46 pass from Stanley McManus (I. Leon kick). 10:56.

FC – Byron Sampson 38 pass from S. McManus (I. Leon Kick). 7:47.

FC – S. Hopkins 7 pass from S. McManus (I. Leon kick). 3:58.

Third Quarter

MC – Mackenzie Flemon 18 pass from Corey Stone (pass failed). 8:55.

FC – Josh Bell 12 run (I. Leon kick). 6:15.

FC – Jerrell Suber-O’Neal 1 run (I. Leon kick). 4:15.

MC – Terrell Long 64 run (M. Flemon 3 pass from C. Stone). 3:53.

Fourth Quarter

FC – Antonio Jackson 6 run (I. Leon kick). 8:38.

 

Team Stats

                                                MC                                         FC

First Downs                        9                                              16

Rushes-Yards                     25-139                                   48-439

Passing Yards                     79                                           133

C-A-I                                      12-23-1                                 8-13-0

Penalties/Yards                  3-25                                       8-70

Fumbles/Lost                    1-1                                          2-0

 

Individual Stats

RUSHING: MC – Cade Ruff 1-(-1), Dee Lindler 5-0, Rashon Graham 8-46, Corey Stone 4-12, Terrell Long 6-82. FC – Joseph Young 20-273, Stanley McManus 7-(-5), Marshawn Geiger 2-33, Josh Bell 2-41, Vernard Hall 1-8, Jerrell Suber-O’Neal 11-60, Courtney Peay 3-24, Markell Whitaker 1-(-1), Antonio Jackson 1-6.

RECEIVING: MC – Mackenzie Flemon 6-70, Dee Lindler 3-2, Rashon Graham 2-8, Cade Ruff 1-(-1). FC – Nick Rikard 1-4, Shadarius Hopkins 2-53, Montego Johnson 1-21, Byron Sampson 1-38, Markell Whitaker 1-8, Joseph Young 2-9.

PASSING: MC – Corey Stone 12-22, 79 yards, INT; Cade Ruff 0-1. FC – Stanley McManus 8-12, 133 yards, 3 TDs; Markell Whitaker 0-1.

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