Griffins Rein in Stallions

Chad Sampson (11) puts the stop on Don Halley as Tony Ruff (29) and Marshawn Geiger (24) close in. (Photo/DeAnna Robinson)

Chad Sampson (11) puts the stop on Don Halley as Tony Ruff (29) and Marshawn Geiger (24) close in. (Photo/DeAnna Robinson)

WINNSBORO – It was not exactly a titanic struggle for gridiron supremacy at E.K. McLendon Stadium Friday night. The Stallions of Lee Central were mathematically eliminated in the first quarter when Rodrick Woodard caught what would ultimately account for the game-winning score, snagging a 14-yard touchdown pass from Stanley McManus with 5:54 on the clock.

Woodard’s grab, and the point after by David Williams, gave the Griffins a 14-0 lead in the early going and the Fairfield Central defense held the Stallions scoreless until Maurice Fedd trundled into the end zone from 4 yards out in the fourth quarter. Fedd’s run trimmed the final to 36-7 as the Griffins cruised to their third straight win and a 3-1 record.

The highlight of the evening might have been the emergence of the Griffins’ kicking game, which has struggled through the first chapter of the season. Williams was good on three of five PAT attempts and even banged in a 35-yard field goal with less than 5 minutes left in the third quarter for the Griffins’ final points of the game.

“He killed it,” Griffins head coach Demetrius Davis said of his senior kicker. “I knew it was just a point of him getting some confidence. This guy still has only played in four football games in his whole life. We told him he’s going to be our guy. We’re going to stick with him. I wasn’t worried about him making filed goals and PATs in August. I’m worried about him making them in November and December.”

The Griffin offense was clicking on all cylinders as well, amassing 36 points with just five first downs and 218 total yards.

Stanley McManus was good for 93 yards and a pair of touchdowns through the air, finding his big target, Qua’terrious Thompson, for a 46-yard jolt less than 2 minutes after the Woodard strike.

“He’s going to have to be our guy,” Davis said of Thompson. “He’s a big kid, he can run, he can do some things.”

Backup quarterback Antonio Jackson also notched a TD pass, but not from under center.

With 8:27 left before the half, Jackson – lined up as a wide out at the Stallion 22 – took the reverse pitch from running back Jerrell Suber-O’Neal on the end-around, set his feet and found Raekwon Butler on the far sideline for 6.

That bit of trickery was set up by a Stallion fumble on the kickoff that followed Chad Sampson’s 5-yard scoring run at the 8:39 mark. In the span of 12 seconds, the Griffins had gone from a 20-0 lead (manageable) to a 33-0 lead (out of reach), which they took with them into the locker room.

Apart from the first series of the game, where the Stallions held Fairfield Central to three-and-out, the rapid-fire, up-tempo pace of the Griffin offense kept Lee Central’s defense on its heels all night.

“That was something the coaches harped on a lot this week – just looking like a football team,” Davis said. “Last week I kind of thought a couple of times we didn’t look like a football team. Little things that irk the daylights out of me. That was our emphasis for tonight. If we can find another emphasis for next week, hopefully by the time that other game comes we’ll be ready to go.”

The Griffins travel to Eau Claire next week, then host Columbia on Sept. 25 before taking Oct. 2 off to prepare for what is shaping up to be the pivotal game of the season, one that in all likelihood will determine the region – Newberry, at home, on Oct. 9. While the Bulldogs have been tested early, earning wins over Union County and Clinton and taking a 35-13 bruising from Chapin Friday, the Griffins have had it relatively easy.

“I think we’ve just got to get better with the little things of us doing what we do,” Davis said. “Like tonight, our focus was hustling on and off the field, and being able to execute and being able to do things that we do. If we execute the way we need to, it doesn’t matter who we play.”

 

LC: 0-0-0-7 – 7

FC: 20-13-3-0 – 36

Scoring

First Quarter

FC – Stanley McManus 1 run (David Williams kick). 9:34

FC – Rodrick Woodard 14 pass from S. McManus (D. Williams kick). 5:54

FC – Qua’terrious Thompson 46 pass from S. McManus (kick blocked). 4:08

Second Quarter

FC – Chad Sampson 5 run (kick failed). 8:39

FC – Raekwon Butler 22 pass from Antonio Jackson (D. Williams kick). 8:27

Third Quarter

FC – D. Williams 35 FG. 4:57

Fourth Quarter

LC – M. Fedd 4 run (S. Simon kick). 8:50

 

Team Stats

LC                                           FC

First Downs                                        7                                              5

Rushes/Yards                                    37-143                                   20-103

Passing Yards                                     13                                           115

C-A-I                                                      2-5-0                                      7-11-0

Fumbles/Lost                                    3-2                                          2-0

Penalties/Yards                                                1-5                                          5-45

 

Individual Stats

RUSHING: LC – M. Fedd 21-70, D. Halley 4-14, D. Dubose 7-20, S. Simon 1-9, T. Couser 1-1, R. Sweetenburg 3-29. FC – Jerrell Suber-O’Neal 6-55, Kinsler Harvey 1-2, Stanley McManus 1-1, Z. Evans 1-0, Tony Ruff 3-46, Antonio Jackson 1-(-9), Chad Sampson 3-9, Courtney Peay 3-3, Carl Jackson 1-(-4).

RECEIVING: LC – T. Albert 1-5, D. Dubose 1-8. FC – Herndon Zchivago 1-4, Rodrick Woodard 1-14, Qua’terrious Thompson 3-70, Raekwon Butler 2-27.

PASSING: LC – D. McMillan 2-5, 13 yards. FC – Stanley McManus 6-6, 93 yards, 2 TDs; Antonio Jackson 1-5, 22 yards, TD.

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