Griffins Adjust, Thump Chester

Jerrell Suber-Oneal (22) outflanks Chester's Quay Strong on his way to the first down. (Photo/DeAnna Robinson)

Jerrell Suber-Oneal (22) outflanks Chester’s Quay Strong on his way to the first down. (Photo/DeAnna Robinson)

WINNSBORO – Any head coach will tell you, a football team makes its greatest leap forward, makes the most improvements, between game one and game two. When the Fairfield Central Griffins walked off the field last week after a stinging 36-24 loss to Brookland-Cayce, it was clear there was plenty of room for those improvements.

And Friday night, it was equally clear they had made them, as the Griffins thumped the rival Chester Cyclones 40-7.

“We weren’t very good last week,” Griffins head coach Demetrius Davis said after Friday’s rebound. “Last week, on defense, we had three guys that played a position that they hadn’t played on a Friday night before. We had eight guys who were either JV guys last year or didn’t play at all last year. I don’t think we did a good job of putting (the defense) in position to make plays last week. Last week’s loss was a collaborative effort. It wasn’t just the players. It was coaching, me and everybody included.”

Friday night, the Griffin defense appeared to have all the bugs worked out, all the Friday Night Jitters quelled, as they held the Cyclones to just 107 total yards of offense and held Chester’s elusive play-making quarterback, Malik Williams, to 60 yards through the air and a net loss of 4 yards on the ground.

“That quarterback from Chester can run around and make some plays,” Davis said. “He’s a really good player. But our defense did a good job of containing him tonight.”

Fairfield’s defense smothered the running game, holding the Cyclones to a meager 47 yards on the turf.

The Griffin offense, meanwhile, hammered Chester for 297 yards rushing, spreading the running chores around liberally. A total of 10 Griffins got their hands on the rock Friday, with the biggest surprise coming from sophomore Tony Ruff.

“He’s a 10th grader. He didn’t play last year,” Davis said of Ruff. “He’s just now starting to get into a little better shape. He’s going to get better each week. Between him and (Jarrell) Suber-Oneal that will give us a chance to rest Josh (Bell) and Chad (Sampson). They play defense a lot.”

Ruff, who didn’t touch the ball until the third quarter, broke out for 78 yards on just seven carries to lead all Griffin tater-toters. On his first touch, with 7:56 left in the third quarter, Ruff announced his presence by breaking a 25-yards touchdown tear. The score and the point after by David Williams put the game well out of reach of the Cyclones at 33-7.

“Hopefully we can get him better each week,” Davis said. “Any time you’ve got a 10th-grader who can do something like that, you’ve got to be excited about it.”

Fairfield Central opened up an early 14-0 lead on scoring runs by Sampson, a 9-yard burst with 8:49 left in the first, and Suber-Oneal, a 4-yard gash with 1:41 left.

Justin Sanders’s 32-yard kickoff return after the Suber-Oneal score set Chester up for their only dividend-producing drive of the night. Starting on their own 37 with 1:34 left in the opening frame, the Cyclones converted a pair of third downs as the running game took them deep into Griffin territory. The drive faced a critical moment when Chester bumped into a fourth-and-2 from the Griffin 3, but Malik Brown squirmed his way to the 1, setting up Javarius Gregory’s lumbering touchdown run with 9:03 left before the half.

The score cut the Griffins’ lead in half, and when the Cyclone defense held on a fourth-and-6 on Fairfield’s next possession, it appeared that Chester may be ready to steal some momentum as they took over on their own 30 with 4:57 left in the half.

But the Griffin defense held Chester to negative 2 yards on the possession, forcing the punt, which rolled to the Griffin 42. Fairfield then put together a seven-play drive that took a little over 2 minutes off the clock, culminating in Bell’s 1-yard run to make it 20-7.

A minute and a half later, Bell set up the Griffins’ final score of the half, scooping up a rolling Cyclone punt at his own 46 and darting down the near sideline to the Chester 5 for an instant first-and-goal. Two plays later, quarterback Stanley McManus finished the deal with a 5-yard run to give the Griffins a 26-7 halftime lead.

“(McManus) did a great job tonight,” Davis said. “Right now, early in the season, we’ve got to depend on our offensive line. If our offensive line is going to be our strength, then we’ve got to be able to run the football.”

The Griffins ran Chester’s legs off Friday night.

Suber-Oneal put the finishing touches on the scoreboard, capping a 41-yard drive that ate away nearly 2 and a half minutes with a 1-yard run at the 3:48 mark in the third.

The Griffins and Cyclones both even their season records to 1-1. Next week, Fairfield Central travels to Sumter to take on the Crestwood Knights. Chester travels to Rock Hill.

 

C: 0-7-0-0 – 7

FC: 14-12-14-0 – 40

 

Scoring

First Quarter

FC – Chad Sampson 9 run. Kick failed. (8:49)

FC – Jarrell Suber-Oneal 4 run. Zchivago Herndon 3 pass from Stanley Mcmanus. (1:41)

Second Quarter

C – Javarius Gregory 1 run. John Erby kick. (9:03)

FC – Josh Bell 1 run. Kick failed. (1:46)

FC – Stanley McManus 5 run. Pass failed. (0:25)

Third Quarter

FC – Tony Ruff 25 run. David Williams kick. (7:56)

FC – Jarrell Suber-Oneal 1 run. Austin Gregory kick. (3:48)

 

C                                             FC

First Downs                                        8                                              20

Rushes/Yards                                    37-47                                     55-297

Passing Yards                                     60                                           17

C-A-I-TD                                               7-14-0-0                               3-5-0-0

Fumbles/Lost                                    1-0                                          1-1

Penalties/Yards                                5-40                                       5-30

 

RUSHING: C – Pha’leak Brown 9-25, Malik Williams 18-(-4), Quay Strong 4-8, Javarius Gregory 7-18. FC – Jarrell Suber-Oneal 18-60, Harvey Kinsler 1-5, Stanley McManus 12-59, Carl Jackson 1-7, Chad Sampson 4-20, Antonio Jackson 2-18, Josh Bell 3-25, Courtney Peay 4-15, Roderick Sparks 1-10, Tony Ruff 7-78.

RECEIVING: C – Justin Jackson 3-22, Pha’leak Brown 9-25, Devan Beatty 1-26, John Erby 1-4. FC – Zchivago Herndon 1-3, Rodrick Woodard 1-9, Roderick Sparks 1-5.

PASSING: C – Malik Williams 7-14, 60 yards; John Erby 0-1, 0 yards. FC – Stanley McManus 3-5, 17 yards.

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