McManus, Griffins Carve Up Pelion

Jerrell Suber-O'Neal (22) slips away from the Pelion defense. (Photo/DeAnna Robinson)

Jerrell Suber-O’Neal (22) slips away from the Pelion defense. (Photo/DeAnna Robinson)

WINNSBORO – It was a quiet second half at E.K. McLendon Stadium Friday night as both the Fairfield Central Griffins and the visiting Pelion Panthers were held off the scoreboard. The first half, however, was the proverbial highlight reel for the Griffins and their quarterback, Stanley McManus.

McManus carved up the Pelion secondary for 214 yards through the first two quarters, completing 12 of 16 passes while chucking five TDs to five different receivers, leading the Griffins to a 39-6 region win on Homecoming night.

“We wanted to throw the ball around a little bit tonight,” Griffins head coach Demetrius Davis said. “We’ve got to be able to throw the ball. We wanted to work on our passing game.”

The passing game went to work straight away, with McManus connecting with Qua’terrious Thompson on a 15-yard scoring strike with 10:48 left in the opening frame. The lightning drive took a little over a minute and covered 61 yards on Fairfield Central’s opening possession. Austin Gregory’s point after lifted the Griffins to a 7-0 lead.

The Griffin defense kept the Panthers pinned inside their 24, forcing a punt on the ensuing drive that gave the Griffins the short field at the Pelion 49 with 8:15 left on the first quarter clock. Seven seconds later, McManus struck again. On the first snap of the drive, the junior quarterback drilled Zchivago Herndon with a 49-yard TD pass with 8:08 to play in the first, boosting the Griffins’ to a 13-0 lead.

On Pelion’s next chance, Fairfield Central’s defense delivered another three-and-out, giving the Griffins a 49-yard field once more on the Panther punt. McManus and the Griffins burned a little more than 3 and a half minutes slinging the ball down to the Pelion 1-yard line, and from there McManus put the soft touch on a scoring toss to Chad Sampson. The point after kick veered wide for the second consecutive time, but the Griffins had built a solid 19-0 lead.

With the clock running down in the first, the Panthers looked for a moment to make things interesting.

Pelion’s Marcus Dwyer pounced on Herndon’s muffed punt return at the Fairfield 39 with 1:35 on the clock, setting the Panthers up with their best field position on the night. A pass interference call pushed Pelion into the red zone at the Griffin 19.

As the second quarter began, the Panthers were looking at fourth-and-4 from the Griffin 13. Richard Kollie hammered his way to the 7, setting up a first-and-goal. On second down, Pelion quarterback Dayrun Keith found Jordan Sigler for 6. The 2-point pass attempt failed, but the Panthers had trimmed the Griffin lead to 19-6 with 10:37 left in the half.

Eight seconds later, however, Herndon got the points – and the momentum – back. The Griffin junior cleanly fielded Pelion’s kickoff at his own 15, exploded right up the gut of the coverage and blew out the other end like a blast of cannon fire. At the Pelion 40, Herndon found another gear and left all Panthers in his wake. Only the fence across the back of the end zone prevented him from running virtually unmolested all the way to Ridgeway.

The 85-yard return was punctuated with Caleb Belton’s point-after kick, giving the Griffins a 26-6 lead with 10:25 left in the half.

McManus tossed another 1-yard TD with 6:03 to go, this one to Raekwon Butler, pushing the lead to 32-6. The score capped an 8-play, 51-yard drive that took 3:01 off the clock.

Herndon set the Griffins up for their final score when he killed Pelion’s following drive by intercepting Keith’s second-and-8 pass at the Griffin 37. Herndon raced all the way down to the Panther 1-yard line before being wrestled to the turf.

A penalty on the return put the Griffins back at the Pelion 44 with 4:59 left on the clock. Facing a daunting third-and-20 at the Fairfield 45, McManus let loose and hit Rodrick Woodard, who hammered his way into the end zone with 3:55 to go. Gregory tacked on the final points of the rout.

The Griffins (7-1/4-0) head to Bolden Stadium in Columbia next week to take on Keenan, the 2A/Division II state runners up.

“They’re just as good (as last year),” Davis said. “They brought everybody back. That’s going to be a good one. That’s going to be a tough game. We’ve just got to do what we do: Play fundamental football, don’t turn the ball over and kick some doggone PATs.”

Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.

 

P: 0-6-0-0 – 6

FC: 19-20-0-0 – 39

 

Scoring

First Quarter

FC – Qua’terrious Thompson 15 pass from Stanley McManus (Austin Gregory kick). 10:48.

FC – Zchivago Herndon 49 pass from S. McManus (kick failed). 8:08.

FC – Chad Sampson 1 pass from S. McManus (kick failed). 3:12.

Second Quarter

P – Jordan Sigler 7 pass from Dayrun Keith (pass failed). 10:37.

FC – Z. Herndon 85 kickoff return (Caleb Belton kick). 10:25.

FC – Raekwon Butler 1 pass from S. McManus (kick blocked). 6:03.

FC – Rodrick Woodard 55 pass from S. McManus (A. Gregory kick). 3:55.

 

Team Stats

P                                             FC

First Downs                                        7                                              10

Rushes-Yards                                     32-79                                     17-126

Passing Yards                                     49                                           214

C-A-I                                                      7-16-1                                   12-18-1

Fumbles/Lost                                    1-0                                          2-1

Penalties/Yards                                 4-35                                       9-90

 

Individual Stats

RUSHING: P – Dayrun Keith 14-28, Richard Kollie 13-51, Alex Quinonez 1-3, Drew Boozer 3-(-1), Donnie Driggers 1-(-2). FC – Stanley McManus 1-25, Jerrell Suber-O’Neal 5-38, Roderick Sparks 1-6, Tony Ruff 2-5, Antonio Jackson 2-8, Carl Jackson 2-26, Zarretrious Evans 3-17, Antoine Young 1-1.

PASSING: P – Dayrun Keith 7-14, 49 yards, TD, INT; Drew Boozer 0-2. FC – Stanley McManus 12-16, 214 yards, 5 TD; Antonio Jackson 0-2, INT.

RECEIVING: P – Desmond Phillips 4-25, Jordan Sigler 3-24. FC – Roderick Sparks 1-15, Raekwon Butler 3-17, Qua’terrious Thompson 2-38, Jerome Green 1-9, Zchivago Herndon 1-49, Rodrick Woodard 1-55, Larentay Mozie 2-12, Chad Sampson 1-19.