Griffins Notch Ugly Win Over Keenan

Quay McBride (11) picks off a Keenan pass. (Photo/Jason Arthur)

Quay McBride (11) picks off a Keenan pass. (Photo/Jason Arthur)

WINNSBORO (Aug. 27, 2016) – Things got a little sloppy late. Turnovers killed opportunities. Penalties piled up, and players were ejected. But Fairfield Central managed to dispose of the Keenan Raiders 27-0 Friday night at E.K. McLendon Stadium on the bypass.

The performance gave Griffins’ head coach Demetrius Davis heartburn, especially looking down the barrel of the next three weeks of his schedule wherein the Griffins will face 5A titans Blythewood and the slayer of 5A titans, 4A Ridge View, in back-to-back games before heading to Newberry.

“If we play like this next week, we’ll get beat by 100,” Davis said. “We’ve got to get better. Defensively, we played good. Offensively, we didn’t do much. We couldn’t put the ball in the end zone. But we won, so we’ll take the win.”

The Griffins put the ball in the end zone enough to handle Keenan, whose own offense was nothing short of anemic. The Raiders were good for just 38 total yards and three first downs on the night.

Fairfield Central, meanwhile, racked up 281 total yards, moving the chains 16 times.

The Griffins punched it into the end zone on their opening possession of the game, driving 55 yards in just over 3 and a half minutes. Rodriguez Edmonds led the charge into the red zone and Stanley McManus finished the drive with an 18-yard run. McManus added the point after to give the Griffins a 7-0 lead with 8:27 to go in the first quarter.

McManus’s ensuing kickoff pinned the Raiders deep while the defense forced a three-and-out and a punt from the back of the Keenan end zone.

Taking over on the Keenan 43 with 6:39 left in the first, the Griffins’ offense chipped away at the Raiders. Jerrell Suber-O’Neal, recovering from a preseason ankle injury, got his first action of the season, while McManus’s passing game found a few seams in the Raiders’ armor.

Suber-O’Neal was good for 71 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries.

“He (Suber-O’Neal) is about 85-90 percent, but he’s out of shape,” Davis said. “This is the first time he’s run since the Nation Ford scrimmage, which was Aug. 9. When you’ve got an ankle (injury) there’s not a whole lot of conditioning you can do. He’s not quite as sharp as he’s been.”

On third-and-11 from the Keenan 29, McManus hit Rodric Woodard at the Raider 11. Three snaps later, McManus finished the deal with a touchdown run from 4-yards out. The kick sailed off course, but the Griffins had the 13-0 lead with 3:19 to go.

While the defense continued to smother Keenan’s efforts, the Griffins offense missed an opportunity to build their lead late in the first when they coughed up the ball at the Raider 8-yard line. Another chance went sour when a Woodard punt return for a score early in the second was called back on a blow-to-the-head penalty.

“It was just sloppy,” Davis said.

But if the Griffins were sloppy, the Raiders were Oscar Madison.

Although they did manage their first first down of the game with around 8 minutes left in the half, the drive was put out of its misery when Quay McBride picked off an Alajuwan Robinson pass at the Fairfield 27 with 7:52 left in the half.

The interception set in motion a 73-yard, 3-minute and 56-second drive that Edmonds polished off with an 8-yard run. The 2-point conversion pass failed, but the Griffins took a 19-0 lead into the locker room.

Things did not improve for the Raiders in the third quarter.

Keenan’s Myles Adams took the second-half kickoff at the Raider 12 and blasted his way to the Raider 44, but the ball was jarred loose and recovered for the Griffins by Theron Byrd.

McManus went right to work, hitting Woodard for a first down at the Keenan 29. The next set of downs nearly stalled at the Raider 25 where the Griffins faced fourth-and-6. A penalty pushed them back to the 30, setting up fourth-and-11. The drive was salvaged by a pass interference call against Keenan, which gave the Griffins a first down at the Raider 15.

Edmonds then pounded the ball to the Keenan 3-yard line, setting up first-and-goal. Suber-O’Neal eked out 2 yards, then drove it home on second-and-goal from 1-yard out. McBride snagged McManus’s 2-point conversion toss for the final tally with 8:16 left in the quarter.

After that, things got ugly. Players on both sides began sniping at one another and officials were slow to get a handle on the tension. Scuffles broke out here and there, and ultimately senior guard Travius Williams and an unidentified Keenan player were ejected in separate incidents.

Williams will thus be unavailable for next week’s game against Blythewood, per S.C. High School League rules.

“I haven’t had a kid thrown out of a game since I’ve been here,” Davis said after the game. “Winning football games isn’t what it’s all about. It’s all about seeing your team getting better. And I don’t think we got better tonight. That’s the thing that’s so disappointing. We might be the same (between last week and this week), but if you don’t get getter, to me you get worse. Even if you stay the same. We’ve got to do a little better job coaching these guys and figure it out.”

They won’t have long to right the ship. Next Friday, the Blythewood Bengals come to town. Blythewood fell to Ridge View Friday in a 23-21 thriller.

“We’ve got our work cut out for us,” Davis said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do this week. We’ll figure it out.”

 

K: 0-0-0-0 – 0

FC: 13-6-8-0 – 27

Scoring

First Quarter

FC – Stanley McManus 18 run (McManus kick). 8:27.

FC – S. McManus 4 run (kick failed). 3:19.

Second Quarter

FC – Rodriguez Edmonds 8 run (pass failed). 3:48.

Third Quarter

FC – Jerrell Suber-O’Neal 7 run (Quay McBride 3 pass from S. McManus). 8:16.

 

TEAM STATS

K                                             FC

First Downs                        3                                              16

Rushes-Yards                     18-31                                     47-170

Passing Yards                     7                                              111

C-A-I                                      2-16-1                                   8-16-0

Fumbles-Lost                     3-1                                          2-2

Penalties-Yards                 9-64                                       12-110

 

INDIVIDUAL STATS

RUSHING: K – Michael Younhg 6-15, Tiski Livingston 2-5, A. Robinson 4-(-11), Myles Adams 3-24, Josh Heatley 1-(-3), Eric Troutman 2-1. FC – Rodriguez Edmonds 14-60, Stanley McManus 11-39, Ah’Quil Ross 2-0, Jerrell Suber-O’Neal 19-76, Antonio Jackson 1-0.

RECEIVING: K – Kenyan Williams 1-6, T. Livingston 1-1. FC – Rodric Woodard 2-36, J.R. Edmonds 3-55, A. Ross 2-6, A. Jackson 1-0.

PASSING: K – A. Robinson 2-14, 7 yards, INT; J. Heatley 0-2. FC – Stanley McManus 8-16, 111 yards.