Griffins continue championship push

WINNSBORO – Fairfield needed to knock off Newberry (10-1) to keep their hopes of a 3A State tittle alive, and it went down to the wire like the first time these two faced off back in week 5. This time the Griffins came out on top in a 14-7 defensive clinic.

“Anytime your defense is playing good it gives you an opportunity to be able to win some close games, “ Griffins’ head coach Demetrius Davis said. “If we can continue to get a little better on defense, I think we do have a chance to play with anybody.”

The Bulldogs opted to receive the ball first, and their initial play from scrimmage was a solid eight-yard dash by Amir Abrams. Then Newberry broke into Griffin territory with a 15-yard pass.

Dorian Glenn (5) powers through the gap. | DeAnna Robinson

Fairfield ended the promising drive by dropping Goodman in the backfield on third down. Newberry’s punt was nearly blocked, but landed at the Griffin 16.

A couple of plays into Fairfield’s opening drive, Tony Ruff rushed for a first down and Jacob McManus moved the chains through the air. The drive hit a hiccup at the Griffin 45 with a fourth-and-three.

The Griffins channeled some early trickery. Ah’Quil Ross took the snap instead of the punter and bolted ahead for 38 yards. A few plays later, Jamon Jackson capitalized on the fake with a three-yard rushing score.

“It was very important,” Davis said. “We knew we needed to be aggressive. Newberry is a good football team and they are traditionally known for milking the clock, running the football and limiting your possessions. We knew we needed to capitalize every time we had the ball.”

Montavious Thompson rang-up Tykedrist Gibson on the two-point conversion to give the Griffins an 8-0 lead. It did not take long for the Bulldogs to answer back.

A 63-yard Tyriq Goodman bomb started the next drive. Abrams finished off Goodman’s handy work with a 10-yard touchdown. The extra-point made it 8-7.

The offenses went blank in the second quarter, and the first half ended with back-to-back interceptions by each team.

On their first drive of the second half, Fairfield punted to Bulldog 43 after a quick three-and-out.

Abrams broke off short carry after short carry until Newberry was inside the Fairfield 15. Goodman took the third-down snap from the Griffin 11 but fumbled.

The Bulldogs were able to recover the fumble, but it set them back 16 yards, and they turned the ball over on downs after a Goodman incompletion.

Early in the fourth quarter Newberry charged into Griffin territory and converted a short fourth down to get inside the Fairfield 35. The drive ended with consecutive Goodman incompletions, and that would be as close as the Bulldogs came to the end zone again.

Fairfield got the ball back with six minutes left and drained off nearly five of those with a 67-yard scoring drive. McManus came through with a 17-yard pass to Gibson on a fourth down conversion, but the Griffins missed the extra-point.

“I wanted to go for two and end the game,” Davis said. “But I felt like if we went for two and didn’t get it, they could score and go for two. If we kicked the PAT, then they would have to score and go for to tie. Unfortunately we missed the PAT; fortunately we were able to survive.”

Newberry heaved up three incompletions as they attempted a last-minute miracle, but the Griffins’ defense stood strong.

The Griffins host Emerald Friday for a spot in the semi-finals.

Scoring

FCHS – 8-0-0-6-14

NHS – 7-0-0-0-7

First Quarter

FCHS – Jamon Jackson 3 run (Montavious Thompson pass to Tykedrist Gibson). 1:12.

NHS – Amir Abrams 10 run (Ulises Benitez kick). :23.

Fourth Quarter

FCHS – Tykedrist Gibson 17 pass from Jacob McManus (Antonio Aguilera kick no good). 1:22.

FCHS                             NH

First Downs                9                                     10

Rushes/Yards            29-149                          35-85

Passing Yards            60                                   98

C-A-I-TD                     10-17-1-1                      6-18-1-0

Fumbles/ Lost           0/2                                 0/2

Penalties/Yards         4-25                                4-40

RUSHING:   FCHS – Tony Ruff 13-30, Montavious Thompson 1-0, Jacob McManus 1-4, Dorian Glenn 5-26, Jamon Jackson 5-31, Ah’Quil Ross 1-38, Malik Butler 3-20. SS – Amir Abrams 27-97, Lamarcus Moore 2 – 6, Tyriq Goodman 6 – (-15),

RECEIVING:  FCHS – JR Edmonds 4-11, Jamas Goins 1-9, Montavious Thompson 1-5, Tony Ruff 2-16, NyDarious Williamson 1-2, Tykedrist Gibson 1-17. NH – Zsymere Epps 4-43, Jaleel Gillam 2-55.

PASSING: FCHS – Jacob McManus 9-16, 57 yards, one touchdown, one interception; Montavious Thompson 1-1, three yards. NH – Tyriq Goodman 6-18, 98 yards, one interception.

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