Griffins survive offensive shootout

WINNSBORO – The Fairfield Central Griffins slugged it out for four quarters with a scrappy AC Flora team that came in seeking their first win of the season, and the scoring came rapidly in this one. Fairfield stood tall when the dust cleared and got a 41-32 win to end their three game snide.

“It feels good,” Griffins’ Head Coach Demetrius Davis said. “It’s been about a month since we won a game, so to get a win was definitely something we needed.”

AC Flora’s offense took the field to begin the game, but their first drive amounted to nothing more than a punt after a Vernard Hall sack dashed the Falcons’ dreams for a successful opening possession.

Vernard Hall (2) and Dorlan Glenn (5) make sure the Falcons ball carrier has nowhere to run. | Photos/DeAnna Robinson

Rodriguez Edmonds busted free for a 17-yard dash on the Griffins’ first play from scrimmage. The explosive play led to a long scoring drive that ended with Antonio Jackson finding JR Edmonds for a 25-yard touchdown.

The Falcons responded on their next drive, including 15-yard runs from Matthew Jamison and Quincy Riley. Fairfield did not help themselves on the drive with a face mask penalty and another for roughing the passer.

Aided by the penalties, Riley took the ball in from four yards out for the touchdown. Harper Fordham attempted to give the Falcons the lead with his extra point but Kimoni Harris stuffed the attempt.

Tied 6-6, the Griffins started the very next drive on their own 32. Antonio Jackson kept the ball for himself on the first play of the drive and took it for 14 yards to the Griffin 34.

Montavious Thompson, the speedy receiver, got the hand off on the next play and broke off an impressive 16-yard run before he was stopped at midfield. A couple of plays later, Jackson hit JR Edmonds, who dodged a few defenders and charged ahead for 21 yards.

Jackson put the drive on ice with a beautiful 28-yard pass and catch to Nydarious Williamson. This time the Griffins drilled their extra point and took a 13-6 lead.

Montavious Thompson (12) leaves the defender on his back and makes his way to the outside.

The points kept coming with the next AC Flora drive, and again the penalty markers would hamper the Griffins defensive efforts. Falcons QB Josh Heatley picked up a first down on the ground, but after an offensive pass interference they faced second down with 20 yards to go.

Heatley chunked the ball deep on the next play. The ball fell incomplete, but the defense drew a pass interference that allowed the Falcons to keep the drive alive. AC Flora found themselves in dire field position again, with a third down and 25 yards to go, when one of the craziest plays of the season happened.

Heatley, again, heaved the ball deep to Matthew Jamison, but as the defender prepared for contact, Jamison lateraled the ball and it fell from the air into the waiting arms of Flora’s Quincy Riley, who then scored for the 48-yard touchdown.

“That was a designed play,” Davis said. “It’s probably something you can practice 10 times on air and you might not get it. To execute that in that situation where it was about fourth and twenty, and for them to execute that play was pretty impressive.”

AC Flora could not hit the extra point to tie the game up. The scoreboard operator did not have time to catch his breath. On the ensuing Falcons’ kickoff, Montavious Thompson went 90 yards to the house.

“Momentum was everything,” Davis said.

Then, for the first time in the game, the defense took charge and both teams punted the ball on their next drives, but in the process Antonio Jackson left the game, limping off of the field. The scoring show paused until the Griffins mounted a long drive shortly before the end of the half.

The catalyst of the late Griffins’ scoring drive came on a fourth down attempt inside of Falcons territory, when Fairfield faked the punt to Jamon Jackson. Jackson took the ball for the first down, and on the next play Antonio Jackson hit Jamas Goins for a 37-yard strike.

Rodriguez Edmonds ended the drive by charging through the defensive line for a one-yard touchdown. Antonio Aguilera split the uprights on the extra point attempt and the Griffins took the 27-12 lead into half.

The Griffins added to their lead in the third on a long scoring drive. Fairfield stuffed the ball down the Falcons throats for nearly four minutes until Rodriguez Edmonds notched his second touchdown with a 21-yard score.

It looked like the Griffins were going to skate to an easy win with a three score lead deep into the third quarter, but the Falcons were not done yet. Josh Heatley made quick work of the next AC Flora drive when he found RJ Mobley for a 66-yard touchdown.

Heatley scored the two-point conversion on a QB keeper, and within just a minute they had trimmed the lead to two scores. AC Flora received the onside kick on kickoff, but could not do anything with the ball and had to punt.

Fairfield punted the ball away with 1:04 left in the third quarter and a 34-20 lead. The Falcons drive moved at a sluggish pace. The only thing that saved them from a punt was a Griffins’ personal foul penalty.

That penalty kept AC Flora alive, and they ripped off a five-minute drive that ended with an easy Heatley two-yard rushing touchdown. They missed the extra point but still came within eight points of the lead.

Backup QB Montavious Thompson dropped the snap on the Griffins’ first play of their next drive, and AC Flora recovered at the Griffins 14 yard-line. Matthew Jamison ended the drive with an 11-yard rushing touchdown, and brought the score to 34-32.

“They’ve played some good football teams,” Davis said on the Falcons. “They lost to Lexington, they lost to Richland Northeast, they lost to Lugoff-Elgin, and they lost to Woodruff in the first game of the year like 55 to 48. They’re a very good football team, it’s just a first year head coach and the ball just hasn’t bounced their way so they could finish a game yet.”

Montavious Thompson made up for the botched snap on the next drive, when he found Tykedrist Gibson for a 15-yard touchdown, to shut the door on the Falcons.

“Montavious probably had one of the best games I’ve seen from a Fairfield Central athlete,” Davis. “He took a punt return to the house that was called back, he took a kickoff return to the house, he threw a touchdown pass and he ran another touchdown. I’ll be honest with you, we needed him to get out of that game with a W.”

The Griffins, now 3-3, celebrate homecoming next week against the Columbia Capitals.


FCHS– 20-7-7-7-41

FLORA– 12-0-8-12–22

First Quarter

FCHS – JR Edmonds 19 pass from Antonio Jackson (Antonio Aguilera kick no good). 6:32.

AC – Quincy Riley four run ( Harper Fordham kick blocked). 4:51.

FCHS – Nydarious Williamson 28 pass from Antonio Jackson (A.Aguilera kick). 3:07.

AC – Quincy Riley 48 pass from Josh Heatley (H.Fordham kick no good). 1:08.

FCHS – Montavious Thompson 90 kickoff return (A.Aguilera kick). :52.

Second Quarter

FCHS – Rodriguez Edmonds 1 run (A.Aguilera kick). :35.

Third Quarter

FCHS – Rodriguez Edmonds 21 run (A.Aguilera kick). 5:25.

AC – RJ Mobley 66 pass from Josh Heatley (J.Heatley run). 4:32.

Fourth Quarter

AC – Josh Heatley 2 run (H.Fordham kick blocked). 8:16

AC – Matthew Jamison 17 run (Q.Riley run no good). 6:32.

FCHS – Tykedrist Gibson 15 pass from Montavious Thompson (A.Aguilera kick). 4:13.

FCHS                             AC

First Downs               12                                  17

Rushes/Yards           46-225                         29-164

Passing Yards            90                                164

C-A-I-TD                    8-11-0-3                      11-30-1-2

Fumbles/ Lost           2/2                              0/0

Penalties/Yards        12-123                          7-78


Rushing:   FCHS – Tony Ruff 16-19, Jamon Jackson 4-23, Rodriguez Edmonds 10-36, Antonio Jackson 3-37,Montavious Thompson 10-51, Theron Byrd 5-59. AC Flora – Matthew Jamison 7-52, Quincy Riley 8-52, Josh Heatley 11-44, T’ziah Miller 1-2, John Faust 1-4, Keshaun Brown.

Receiving: FCHS- JR Edmonds 5- 49, Jamas Goins 1-5, Jamon Jackson 2-39, Nydarious Williamson 1-28, Tykedrist Gibson 1-15. AC Flora – RJ Mobley 6-130, Quincy Riley 3-54, Eric Austin 1-12, John Faust 1-3.

Passing: FCHS – Antonio Jackson 6-9, 76 yards, two touchdowns; Montavious Thompson 2-2 14 yards, one touchdown. AC Flora – Josh Heatley 11-30, 199 yards, two touchdowns, one interception.

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