Griffin defense back on track

WINNSBORO – The Fairfield Central Griffins got their first win of the 2019 regular season on Friday evening as they defeated the Lancaster High School Bruins by a score of 18-9. The win improves the Griffins to 1-1 this season.

Chris Suber (5) punched in his second touchdown of the night on the Griffins’ final drive. | Joe Seibles

Fairfield received the opening kick-off and picked up a first down before punting to Lancaster, but the Bruins fumbled the ball back to the Griffins on their own 20-yard line. Fairfield struck two plays later as senior running back Chris Suber took it into the end zone from 20 yards out. The PAT was no good and the Griffins led 6-0 with 8:50 to play in the first quarter.

The first quarter came to an end with the Griffins up 6-0, but it wasn’t for a lack of attempts as they had two punt returns and another 40-yard touchdown pass called back due to penalties.

Fairfield Central held Lancaster without a first down until under two minutes left in the opening half when the Griffins already led 12-0. Stephon Gadsden had just hit Justice Boyd with a 26-yard touchdown strike.

“I thought we played lights out on defense,” said head coach Demetrius Davis. “We got a little tired because we did not do enough on offense to keep them off the field. We have to get better on defense, and our defense this year is ten times better than we were last year. They aren’t one of the better teams we have played but they still have some guys out there that can make some plays, so to be able to get those guys locked down for a half, I’ll take it any time.”

The second half started with the Griffins intercepting Bruins quarterback Sean Truesdale. They began the drive at their own 49-yard line but quickly went backwards and punted from their own 24-yard line. Lancaster drove down the field on its next possession with sophomore running back Juelz Hood running four times for 23 yards on the possession. The Griffins forced a Bruins field goal that made it 12-3 with 3:31 left in the third quarter.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, the Bruins scored their lone touchdown of the contest but missed the PAT leading to a 12-9 score. It would stay that way until the final minute of the contest when the Griffins capitalized on a 10-play, 82-yard drive that took nearly six minutes off the clock.

Suber scored on a 12-yard run, his second touchdown of the game to bring the game to its final score of 18-9. Suber ran six times for 38 yards on the Griffins’ final drive. The Bruins moved the ball down to the Griffins 23-yard line as the second ticked off, but it was too little, too late.

“That is the first time we have done that in a long time,” Davis said when asked about his team’s final touchdown to put the game away. “To be able to have three touchdowns called back. If anything kills momentum, it is the penalties on those touchdowns. I’m anxious to get in and watch this film and see just how bad we really were. To be able to overcome that and win, I’ll take it any day of the week, but we have a lot of work to do.”

The Griffins travel to face Blythewood High School for a 7:30 kickoff on Friday.