Griffins Chew Up Patriots

Jerrell Suber-O'Neal blasts through a hole in the Powdersville line. (Photo/Joe Seibles)

Jerrell Suber-O’Neal blasts through a hole in the Powdersville line. (Photo/Joe Seibles)

WINNSBORO – The Patriots had their chances in round one of the Class 2A/Division 1 playoffs Friday night at E.K. McLendon Stadium. Two very good chances, to be exact.

But Powdersville stalled out each time against a Fairfield Central defense that bent but didn’t break as the Griffins cruised to a 42-7 victory, advancing to next week’s second round showdown with the Woodruff Wolverines.

The Pats’ first opportunity to punch a hole in the Griffins came on their opening drive. Taking the ball at their own 35, Powdersville gashed into Fairfield territory. A 35-yard pass from Emery Williams to E.J. Humphrey on second-and-14 set the Pats up with a first-and-goal from the Griffin 10. But a powerful stand by the defense held the Patriots at bay, forcing a 22-yard field goal attempt by Austin Snow.

The kick was tipped at the line of scrimmage and took a dive just underneath the posts. The Griffins escaped the early threat and the Fairfield offense promptly took advantage, marching 80 yards in just over 2 and a half minutes to put the first points of the game on the board.

Jerrell Suber-O’Neal, who pounded out 99 of his 104 total yards in the first half alone, polished off the assault, hammering home a 5-yard TD run with 4:59 to go in the first.

Suber-O’Neal was one of two Griffins to join the century club Friday night. Quarterback Stanley McManus mauled the Patriots for 103 yards on just nine carries, including three touchdown runs, while also throwing for 103 yards.

“That’s what we’re supposed to do,” Griffins head coach Demetrius Davis said. “That’s what we kind of hang our hat on is being able to run the football. We were able to run it. We were able to get it done. We played good up front.”

McManus notched his first TD run of the night on the Griffins’ next possession as Fairfield Central took over at their 24 following a Powdersville three-and-out. On second-and-17 from the Griffin 45, McManus fired a dart to Qua’terrious Thompson, who hauled it down to the Patriots’ 11, and on second-and-7, McManus banged it in from 8-yards out.

Austin Gregory was perfect on PATs on the night, and his kick gave the Griffins a 14-0 lead with just 5 ticks left in the first quarter.

“He (Gregory) was hitting those things down to the Richland County line tonight,” Davis said. “When he feels good, he feels good. I’ve been dealing with kickers a long time and it’s all about how they feel and he feels good.”

McManus and Gregory gave the Griffins a 21-0 lead with 6:41 left in the first half after the junior quarterback capped a seven-play, 88-yard drive with a 14-yard scoring scamper.

While the Patriots were down, they soon proved they were certainly not out. On their ensuing possession, they had their next – and last – best shot at making it a ball game. And the Griffin defense put up an even more impressive stand.

Facing a third-and-15 from their own 29, Williams fired a bullet to Joey Schirripa who snagged it near the Fairfield 30 and then broke free to the Griffin 3-yard line, setting up a first-and-goal. Four tries later, the Pats turned it over on downs as the Griffin defense slammed Williams to the ground at the 1-yard line on the fourth-and-goal gambit with 4:02 left in the half.

“That was pretty impressive, wasn’t it?” Davis said, “That was the happiest play I had the whole night was to have them get to the 1-yard line, and in four tries they couldn’t get it in. Let me tell you, that’s impressive. And it’s no secret; in order to be able to win this time of year we’ve got to play that kind of defense.”

Equally impressive, perhaps, was the offense’s follow-up to the defense’s goal-line stand – a 99-yard scoring drive that McManus finished off with a 16-yard run to up the ante to 28-0 with only 29 second left in the second.

Chad Sampson’s interception of a Williams’ pass with a little over 8 minutes left in the third gave the Griffins the ball at the Powdersville 40, setting up Suber-O’Neal’s second score of the night. McManus quickly pushed the Griffins into striking distance, hitting Roderick Sparks at the 10 for a first-and-goal. On second-and-goal, Suber-O’Neal rammed it in from 6-yards out and Gregory’s point after made it 35-0 with 7:06 left in the third.

Powdersville finally broke the spell with a 5-yard dash by Williams to start the final frame, while a late run by Zarretrious Evans gave the Griffins their final tally.

“It was a good night,” Davis said. “One down, three to go. Each week it’s going to get tougher. The plot thickens each week. I don’t know who we’ve got next week, but whoever it is, we’ve got to play defense and we’ve got to do the little things right.”

The Griffins will host Woodruff, who bounced Indian Land 45-14 Friday night, next week in round two. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.


P: 0-0-0-7 – 7

FC: 14-14-7-7 – 42


First Quarter

FC – Jerrell Suber-O’Neal 5 run (Austin Gregory kick). 4:59.

FC – Stanley McManus 8 run (A. Gregory kick). 0:05.

Second Quarter

FC – S. McManus 14 run (A. Gregory kick). 6:41.

FC – S. McManus 16 run (A. Gregory kick). 0:29.

Third Quarter

FC – J. Suber-O’Neal 6 run (A. Gregory kick). 7:06.

Fourth Quarter

P – Emery Williams 6 run (Austin Snow kick). 11:56.

FC – Zarretrius Evans 5 run (A. Gregory kick). 2:17.


Team Stats

P                                             FC

First Downs                        11                                           19

Rushes-Yards                     35-36                                     43-343

Passing Yards                     150                                         103

C-A-I                                      10-22-2                                 4-12-0

Penalties-Yards                 2-10                                       7-85

Fumbles-Lost                     7-0                                          0-0


Individual Stats

RUSHING: P – Jakobe Bufford 13-54, E.J. Humphrey 8-(-3), Emery Williams 14-(-15). FC – Jerrell Suber-O’Neal 16-104, Stanley McManus 9-103, Tony Ruff 10-59, Harvey Kinsler 1-1, Z. Evans 2-2, Chad Sampson 1-15, Antonio Jackson 3-50.

PASSING: P – Emery Williams 10-22, 150 yards, 2 INT. FC – Stanley McManus 4-12, 103 yards.

RECEIVING: P – Joey Schirripa 3-62, E.J. Humphrey 2-50, Jakobe Bufford 1-1, Jack Birchfield 1-4, J.J. Gentile 2-19, Jack Booth 1-9. FC – Rodrick Woodard 1-3, Qua’terrious Thompson 2-70, Roderick Sparks 1-30.

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