Griffins edge past Warriors

WINNSBORO – The Fairfield Central Griffins did not need a win this week against Indian Land; they had already clinched a region championship and a number one-seed in the 3A playoffs, but the win would jettison them into the post-season with a five-game win streak. The 2-8 Indian Land Warriors gave the Griffins everything they could handle, but Fairfield pulled out the 14-13 win in overtime.

“They’re a pretty good team, and they had already secured the fourth seed for the playoffs. I expected them to come in and play tough,” Griffins’ head coach Demetrius Davis said. “They were able to play a very good Chester team, Chester had to score late to beat them, 35-34.”

Fairfield has not suffered a loss since the one-point heartbreaker against Newberry High on Sept.15 and ran the table with a perfect 4-0 record in Region 4-3A play. Neither team could get much going until the Griffins marched deep into Warrior territory at the end of the first quarter.

The Griffins offensive line clears the path for Jacob McManus (10) to sit back in the pocket and examine the field. | Photos/Deanna Robinson

Jacob McManus was picked off at the Indian Land 10-yard line on the first play of the second quarter. Indian Land could not mount any offensive momentum on the turnover, but they marched close enough for a field-goal attempt later in the second.

The 30-yard Brandon Dickerson field-goal was returned to sender, and the Griffins took over at their own-20 with five minutes left in the half. Indian Land pushed past midfield into Griffins territory again the second, but Quay McBride halted the drive with an interception.

McBride’s pick left Fairfield knocking on the door at the Indian Land 20 with over three minutes left before halftime. The drive hinged on a fourth-and-six conversion, but the McManus pass to JR Edmonds was stuffed at the line of scrimmage.

The Warriors ran the clock down to all zeroes on their next possession, and at halftime the game was all knotted up at 0-0. Both offenses still look confused after the half, and nobody could find the end-zone until the end of the third quarter.

Fairfield got the ball back at their own 25 with 6:27 left to go in the third and methodically drove the ball down the throat of the Warriors. McManus hit Jamas Goins for an 18-yard gain, and that really sparked the drive.

The Griffins worked their way down the field with medium-yardage passes and throws until Dorian Glenn was able to bulldoze past Indian Land and into the end-zone for a three yard score.

Antonio Aguilera’s extra-point was blocked, and Indian Land trailed 6-0 with 19 ticks left in the third. The Warriors threatened to tie in the early moments of the fourth, but CJ Simmons came up with the Griffins’ second interception of the night.

Despite the big Simmons interception, Indian Land pushed deep into Griffins territory again with less than four minutes remaining. Tykedrist Gibson secured a tackle-for-loss that set Indian Land up with a fourth-and-16 from the Griffin 26.

Warriors’ quarterback David Loughry missed the fourth down pass to the end-zone, but a pass interference kept the drive going. Indian Land capitalized, and two plays later they scored on a seven-yard Brandon Britton score.

Brandon Dickerson’s go ahead extra point attempt was blocked by the Griffins, and things were tied up at 6-6 with 2:40 left. The Warriors got possession again at the Fairfield 34 with 1:50 left and moved inside the 20, but turned the ball over on a fumble, sending the game into overtime.

The powerhouse Dorian Glenn (5) chugs through the Indian Land offensive line.

Per overtime rules, both teams get possessions at the 10-yard line, similar to college football overtime, and Indian Land was up first.

Warriors’ running back Brandon Britton ran for five on the first couple of plays, and on fourth down squeezed it in from the one-yard line. This time Dickerson nailed the extra-point and the Warriors went ahead 13-6.

Dorian Glenn took the first overtime handoff for the Griffins and pressed ahead nine yards to the one. Glenn finished it off himself on the next play.

Instead of kicking the game-tying extra point and going into another overtime period, Coach Davis opted to go for two and the win. Senior Tony Ruff got around the edge, and there was no stopping him from getting past the goal-line for the two points.

“Normally the rule is when you score on the road go for two, but we were home and, I’ll be honest, we probably had done about what we could do,” Davis said. “At that point we were going for two regardless.”

The Griffins host Southside next-week at home in the opening round of the playoffs, and Indian Land’s season is done.

“This time of year, it’s really not about what the other team does, it’s about what you do. If we can execute what we do, take care of the football and play good defense,” Davis said, “it really doesn’t matter who you play, you just have to go out and execute.”

SCORING

FCHS– 0–0-6-0-8-14

IL– 0-0-0-6–7-13

Third Quarter

FCHS – Dorian Glenn 5 run (Antonio Aguilera kick no good).:19.

Fourth Quarter

IL – Brandon Britton 7 run (Brandon Dickerson kick no good).2:40

Overtime

IL – B.Britton 1 run (B.Dickerson kick).

FCHS – D.Glenn 1 run (Tony Ruff two point run).

TEAM STATS

FCHS                         IL

First Downs              8                             12

Rushes/Yards           62-165                    33-134

Passing Yards           42                            86

C-A-I-TD                    5-19-1-0              12-32-2-0

Fumbles/ Lost         1/1                          1/1

Penalties/Yards       3-33                       4-25

INDIVIDUAL STATS

RUSHING:   FCHS – Tony Ruff 29-84,Montavious Thompson 1-0,  Jacob McManus 4-7, Jamas Goins 1-5, Dorian Glenn 11-69. IL – Brandon Britton 22-84, David Loughry 8-44, Jay Hildreth 2-2, Jonathan Starkey 1-4.

RECEIVING:  FCHS- JR Edmonds 1-7,  Jamas Goins 1-18, Tony Ruff 1 – (-4) Montavious Thompson 2-21. IL – Jay Hildreth 1-3, Dillion Culley 1-3, AJ Jefferson 2-8, Caleb Wallace 7-62, Brandon Britton 1-8.

PASSING: FCHS – Jacob McManus 5-19, 42 yards, one interception. IL – David Loughry 12-32, 86 yards, two interceptions.

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