Griffins Topple Caps

Jerrell Suber-O'Neal (22) exploits the Columbia defense. (Photo/Joe Seibles)

Jerrell Suber-O’Neal (22) exploits the Columbia defense. (Photo/Joe Seibles)

WINNSBORO – On a wet and rainy Friday night at E.K. McLendon Stadium in Winnsboro, not even untimely penalties and miscues could dampen the Griffins’ performance against the Capitals of Columbia as Fairfield Central dominated with a 47-8 victory.

“We were a little sloppy in the beginning, but we did what we needed to do to win,” Fairfield Central head coach Demetrius Davis said after the game. “We’ve just been trying to get through this thing and get a little better each game.”

Despite a muffed punt by Fairfield (5-1, 2-0) early in the first quarter, the Griffin defense was able to force a three and out. Fairfield’s first possession began at their own 39-yard after the Columbia (0-6, 0-2) punt.

Jerrell Suber-O’Neal ripped off back-to-back runs for first down yardage as the Griffins marched into scoring territory. Following a delay of game penalty on first down, Stanley McManus completed a pass to Chad Sampson for 11 yards. Two plays later, McManus fooled the Capital defense with a run fake and found an open Qua’terrious Thompson in the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown that capped an eight-play, 61-yard scoring drive. Austin Gregory pushed the point after attempt wide, but Fairfield grabbed a 6-0 lead halfway through the first quarter.

Columbia’s ensuing possession ended in another three and out and was compounded with a 24-yard punt return by “Doctor” Zchivago Herndon to set up the Griffin offense at the Columbia 6-yard line. Two plays later, Suber-O’Neal punched it into the end zone with a 4-yard plunge up the middle. Gregory was solid on the extra point and Fairfield led 13-0.

Things would continue to get worse for Columbia on their next drive when Fairfield’s Daryl Camack recovered a fumble and returned it 11 yards to set up the Griffins with a first-and-goal at the Columbia 10-yard line.

It took just two plays for Fairfield’s cheering section to sound the horn for another Griffin touchdown. This time it was Tony Ruff crossing the goal line from 3 yards out to give the Griffins a 19-0 advantage at the end of the first quarter.

After the game Davis told The Voice his team was able to work its way through some early setbacks.

“We got some touchdowns, we made some plays and we got through it,” he said.

On Columbia’s next possession, Sampson picked off a Williams’ pass and returned it 60 yards for what would have been a defensive touchdown were it not for a block in the back penalty. After the penalty was marked off, Fairfield took over at their own 39-yard line. Facing a fourth-and-4 at mid-field, McManus was stopped a yard short of the first down marker.

The Capitals were unable to cash in on the turnover on downs and were forced into a three and out for the third time in the first half. On Fairfield’s first play of the next drive, Suber-O’Neal was like a bolt of lightning as he blasted his way up the gut and raced 71 yards for the longest scoring play of the game. After the extra point, the Griffins led 26-0 at halftime.

Columbia, a team that had been held scoreless through their first five games, was held to just one first down and eight offensive yards in the first half.

“They played good,” Davis said with a smile when talking about his defense after the game.

On the opening drive of the second half, the Griffins were set up with excellent field position at the 50-yard line after a 22-yard kickoff return by Herndon. Fairfield rattled off six straight running plays and the sixth play, the 50-yard scoring march was finalized with a 10-yard sweep to the right by Sampson.

Facing a 33-0 deficit, it would get worse before it would get better for the Capitals. Columbia was unable to pick up positive yards on their ensuing drive and were forced to punt. Josh Bell fielded the punt near the Griffin 48 and picked his way through the coverage unit for a 52-yard touchdown return.

Early in the fourth quarter, sophomore quarterback Antonio Jackson called his own number for a 5-yard keeper across the goal line to give the Griffins a 47-0 advantage. It was the fifth straight game Fairfield lit up the scoreboard for at least 36 points.

The Capitals’ scoreless trend continued deep into the fourth quarter Friday night until James Kinlaw scored the first points of the season for Columbia when he rushed up the middle from 6 yards out. That touchdown ended a 23-quarter scoring drought for the Capitals.

“Coach Bush (Columbia head coach Jason Bush) is a dear friend of mine and I coached him at South Carolina State,” Davis said. “Those kids practice and go to work every day and it was good for them to get a touchdown.”

Fairfield is idle this week, then hosts the Newberry Bulldogs for Homecoming on Oct. 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Davis told The Voice his team would use the extra week for preparation in every facet before hosting the Griffin’s region rival.

“They (Newberry) are way better this year than they have been in a long time,” Davis said.

Newberry (5-1, 1-0) most recently defeated Eau Claire 28-7 on Sept. 25, and their only loss came against Chapin by a score of 35-13 on Sept. 11.


CH: 0-0-0-8 – 8

FC: 19-7-14-7 –47


First Quarter

FC – Thompson 11 pass from McManus (kick failed). 5:49.

FC – Suber-O’Neal 4 run (Gregory kick). 2:26.

FC – Ruff 3 run (Gregory kick fail). 1:17.

Second Quarter

FC – Suber-O’Neal 71 run (Gregory kick). 6:52.

Third Quarter

FC – Sampson 10 run (Gregory kick). 8:35.

FC – Bell 52 punt return (Gregory kick). 5:46.

Fourth Quarter

FC – Jackson 5 run (Gregory kick). 9:50.

CH – Kinlaw 6 run (Reyes run). 3:16.



Team Stats

FC                           CH

First Downs                        9                              6

Rushes/Yards                    26-277                   27-69

Passing Yards                     22                           0

C-A-INT                                2-3-0                      0-5-1

Fumbles/Lost                    1-1                          2-1

Penalties/Yards                                9-80                       2-10

Third downs                       0-2                          0-9

Fourth downs                    0-1                          0-0


Individual Stats

RUSHING: CH – James Kinlaw 14-62, Mike Williams 7-3, D.J. Miller 1-3, Nate Miller 1-3, Ramon Reyes 4-(-2). FC – Jerrell Suber-O’Neal 9-131, Stanley McManus 5-50, Tony Ruff 4-66, Courtney Peay 4-12, Antonio Jackson 2-13.

RECEIVING: FC – Chad Sampson 1-11, Qua’terrious Thompson 1-11.

PASSING: CH – Mike Williams 0-5, 0 yards, 0 TD, INT. FC – Stanley McManus 2-3, 22 yards, 1 TD.

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