Griffins Shutout Shamrocks

Jerrell Suber-O'Neal plows through the Shamrock defense. (Photo/Joe Seibles)

Jerrell Suber-O’Neal plows through the Shamrock defense. (Photo/Joe Seibles)

COLUMBIA – A heavy dose of the run game and some big passing plays by Stanley McManus ignited Fairfield Central’s 40-0 victory over the Shamrocks of Eau Claire Friday night at Bolden Stadium in Columbia.

The Shamrocks (1-4, 0-1) have struggled to put up points this season and were averaging just 10 points per game coming into the contest, as the Griffin defense pitched its first shutout of the season on the way to opening the region schedule with a victory.

“My hat’s off to those guys (Eau Claire),” Fairfield Central head coach Demetrius Davis expressed after the game. “That’s a good looking football team and it was good to come here and get a win.”

The Griffins (4-1, 1-0) exploded for 34 points in the first half and were able to play their second string throughout most of the second half. Fairfield has scored more than 35 points in four straight games and did not punt the ball once in the first half against Eau Claire.

“I feel like it (the offense) is coming together,” Davis noted. “I feel like we could still throw the ball a little bit better, but we made some throws tonight that we hadn’t made all year, so we’re getting a little better.”

Fairfield lit up the Eau Claire defense for a total of 468 offensive yards and it all began on the first play of the game, when McManus connected with Larentay Mozie for a 27-yard completion. Jerrell Suber-O’Neal finished off the 10-play 79-yard march with a 6-yard rush over the left side. O’Neal ran the ball four times for 33 yards on the scoring drive. Austin Gregory was solid on the extra point and the Griffins grabbed a 7-0 lead just three minutes into the ball game.

Eau Claire’s ensuing drive sputtered at midfield, but an excellent punt pinned the Griffins at their own 6-yard line.

Facing a third-and-1, O’Neal kept the drive alive when he broke free for a 10-yard gain. McManus followed that up with another big completion, this time to his tight end Qua’terrious Thompson for 22 yards.

Thompson finished the night with two catches for 52 yards and one score. Last week against Crestwood, Thompson hauled in four passes for over 100 yards and three scores.

“He’s (Thompson) a great player and he has had a good game the past three weeks and is really starting to come on for us,” Davis praised the senior after the game.

Sophomore running back Tony Ruff cemented the 94-yard scoring drive with an 8-yard bulldozing run over the left side as he put his shoulder down and ran over a Shamrock defender on his way to pay dirt. Gregory made good on the extra point and the Griffins held a 14-0 advantage with three minutes left to play in the first quarter.

The Eau Claire offense began gasping for air as Fairfield suffocated the running game and forced another Shamrock punt after a three and out.

At the end of the first quarter and starting on his own 32-yard line, McManus would begin to leave his imprint on the game. He connected with Raekwon Butler and Tykedrist Gibson for gains of 10 and 22 yards, respectively. Then facing a second-and-10, McManus used a pump fake to misdirect a defender and leave a wide open running lane that he bolted through for a 36-yard scoring run.

“He’s (McManus) getting to the point now where he has enough experience that he can pump fake that (safety) a little bit and he’s doing a good job and getting better with it,” Davis said after the game.

The point after made the score 21-0 with 11 minutes to go in the first half. McManus completed a pass to six different receivers during the game.

Eau Claire’s offensive struggles continued on their ensuing drive and were forced to punt yet again. With Fairfield facing a third-and-9 at their own 24-yard line, Ruff burst up the middle and then cut back toward the left sideline for a 42-yard pickup and the largest gain of the game. On the following play, Griffin wide out Zchivago Herndon got a free release off the line of scrimmage and McManus found him for a 34-yard touchdown reception down the right seam.

Just when Eau Claire’s offense started to click on the ensuing possession, Fairfield recovered a fumble. Two plays later, the Griffins piled it on when McManus found Thompson across the middle and Thompson broke two tackles on his way to the end zone.

Fairfield took a 34-0 lead at halftime.

There was a scary moment in the second half when Eau Claire quarterback Teion Thomas took a knee to the head, which caused him to go into a seizure. He was carted off by EMS for precautionary reasons.

It was reported after the game that once Thomas came out of the seizure he was fine and had feeling in all of his limbs. After the game, coaches told The Voice that Thomas was talking and alert and that everything was taken as a precautionary measure, but Thomas was able to move all fingers and toes.

Next week the Griffins will host the Capitals of Columbia, and Davis is calling on the community for help off the field. Fairfield Central offensive coordinator Ryan Sharpe’s wife has been diagnosed with cervical cancer and the football team, athletic department and school will be doing a special fund raiser before and during the game. Volunteers will be selling $1 bracelets and all proceeds will go to the Sharpe family and Mrs. Sharpe’s medical expenses.

“The athletic department is going to do a lot, the students are going to do a lot, but I would really like for the community to get behind this cause,” Davis said. “I know there are a lot of people that battle cancer, but this one is hitting close to home with me and I feel like we need to do something.”

Kickoff at E.K Mclendon Stadium in Winnsboro against Columbia is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

 

FC: 14-20-0-6 – 40

EC: 0-0-0-0 – 0

Scoring

First Quarter

FC – Suber-Oneal 6 run (Gregory kick). 8:41

FC – Ruff 8 run (Gregory kick). 3:09

Second Quarter

FC – McManus 36 run (Gregory kick). 11:17

FC – Herndon 34 pass from McManus (Gregory kick block). 7:49

FC – Thompson 30 pass from McManus (Gregory kick). 5:15

Fourth Quarter

FC – Peay 6 run (Gregory kick fail). 11:48

 

Team Stats

FC                           EC

First Downs                        18                           4

Rushes/Yards                    40-320                   19-40

Passing Yards                     148                         34

C-A-INT                                7-14-0                   3-9-0

Fumbles/Lost                    0-0                          2-1

Penalties/Yards               4-30                       4-45

Third downs                       6-8                          1-9

Fourth downs                    0-0                          0-0

 

Individual Stats

RUSHING: EC – Tierrell Brown 8-42, Jarquise Gunter 6-7, Teion Thomas 2-(-13), Cory Cohen 1-(-2), Eric Portifield 1-13, Malaik Vereen 1-(-5). FC – Jerrell Suber-O’Neal 11-68, Greg Robinson 1-3, Stanley McManus 2-51, Courtney Peay 13-70, Chad Sampson 1-11, Antonio Jackson 2-13, Tony Ruff 3-72, Zarretrious Evans 2-9, Harvey Kinsler 2-18 .

RECEIVING: EC – Malaik Vereen 1-17, Cory Cohen 2-34. FC – Larentay Mozie 1-27, Quaterrious Thompson 2-52, Raekwon Butler 1-10, Tykedrist Gibson 1-22, Zchivago Herndon 1-34, Rodderick Sparks 1-3.

PASSING: EC – Teion Thomas 3-9, 34 yards. FC – Stanley McManus 7-13, 148 yards, 2 TD. Antonio Jackson 0-1, 0 yards.

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