Newberry shuts out Griffin offense

WINNSBORO –  The Fairfield Central Griffins played host to the Newberry High School Bulldogs on Friday, Sept. 20 with the Bulldogs scoring two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to secure the 20-6 victory. The loss moved the Griffins to 2-3 on the season.

Will Barber (4) finds some open field to pick up yardage. | Joe Seibles

The first half of the contest was all defense as there was only one score by the two teams combined. The Bulldogs and Griffins were each forced to punt on their first two drives of the game. The scoring drive came on Newberry’s third possession.

The Bulldogs took over at their own three-yard line with 3:31 to play in the opening quarter, six plays and 97 yards later they were in the Griffins end zone. They drive was highlighted by a 71 yard pass and run when Zay Chalmers found Zack Chalmers for the big gain. Newberry running back Ahmorae Wilmore rushed for 25-yards on four carries, and Chalmers snuck it in for the last yard on the QB sneak with 53 seconds left in the first quarter.

Neither team found any offense the remainder of the half. Fairfield Central would go into the locker room trailing Newberry 7-0.

The third quarter began with each team turning the ball over on downs. The Griffins drove to the Bulldog 41-yard line before getting stopped. Newberry turned around and gave the ball back to Fairfield Central at the 50 when it failed to pick up a single first down. The Griffins got even better field position after the Bulldogs were called for Unsportsmanlike Conduct.

The field position was slightly wasted as Griffin quarterback Stephon Gadsden threw an interception when trying to go for the homerun play. The Newberry defender gained possession of the ball at the one-yard line, meaning no touchback on the play. This came into play big for the Griffins as they forced a Bulldog punt following one first down.

Nathaniel Adams came after the punt and blocked it. Jontavius Henry scooped the blocked punt and returned it 12-yards for the score. The PAT was no good which made it a 7-6 ballgame with 3:18 to play in the third quarter.

The Bulldogs responded with a seven-play, 56-yard scoring drive capped by an eight rushing score from Wilmore, making it 13-6 following a failed PAT.

The Griffins put together a drive that looked like they may be able to respond. With the help of a 17-yard run from Will Barber on a fake punt, the Griffins were able to take the ball from their own 23-yard line down to the Bulldog 38.

Newberry put the finishing touches on the board following that possession with a six-play, 78-yard scoring drive that saw Wilmore cross the goal line for a second time on the evening, bringing the final to 20-6.

Senior Marcus Alston led the Griffins with 16 tackles, followed by Adams, Curtis Brown and Ray Davis, each with 11.

Gadsden threw 10-18 for 69 yards and three interceptions and rushed for 14 yards on six carries. Barber picked up 77 yards on 18 carries to lead the Griffins. Montavious Thompson tallied 34 yards on four receptions.

The Griffins are back in the friendly confines of E.K. McLendon Stadium on Sept. 27 at 7:30. They play host to Westwood High School.

Newberry 20, Fairfield Central 6

NHS – 7-0-0-13 – 20

FCHS – 0-0-6-0 – 6