York takes down Griffins

WINNSBORO – The Fairfield Central Griffins (2-1) suffered a heartbreaking loss in the final seconds of the game on Friday night as the York High School Cougars scored from one yard out with eight seconds left in the game as they won the contest 25-18. The Cougars improved to 2-1 on the season.

The Griffins opened the game with the football and held the ball for more than half of the first quarter as they drove the ball down to the Cougar 19-yard line before they stopped the Griffins on fourth down. The Griffins stopped the Cougars first offensive series forcing them to punt the ball away. The Cougar punter was somehow able to get the punt off and the Griffins took back over inside their own 25. The first quarter came to an end with both teams having goose eggs on the scoreboard.

Early in the second quarter the Griffins had a chance to strike early with a big pass play that fell incomplete for Fairfield Central. Fortunately for the Griffins it didn’t hurt as they still put together a time consuming drive that finished with points on the scoreboard as Will Barber would find the end zone from one-yard out and gave Fairfield Central a 6-0 lead.

On the next offensive series, the Griffins nearly forced a three and out before a personal foul penalty gave York life moving the ball to the Griffins 40-yard line, York would then go the remaining 40 yards all on the ground but Fairfield Central blocked the PAT and kept the score at 6-6 with 2:09 remaining.

Fairfield Central moved the ball to the 50-yard line in the final minutes but would have to punt away, the snap went over the punters head and York took over at the Griffins 18 with 26 seconds left in the half. In the final seconds of the half York moved the ball down to the Griffins three-yard line with the aid of two Fairfield Central penalties. On the final penalty with nine seconds left at the three-yard line York did not get the timeout called and the coaches failed to realize the clock was running as the Cougars did not get another snap off and the first half ended with the two teams tied, 6-6.

York would take their first lead of the game midway thru the third quarter after they brought the wildcat package in, their speedy corner back found a hole for a 19-yard scoring run to complete the 65+ yard drive. That lead did not last long for the Cougars as Fairfield Central answered quickly with a three-play eighty-yard drive, all on the ground. On third and three from the 27-yard line junior quarterback Stephon Gadsden faked the speed sweep to Barber and ran the ball right thru the middle of the York defense 77 yards for the score and tying the game at 12 apiece. The Griffins got a stop on the Cougars next possession and took over at their own 36 after the York punt. Their offensive possession would take the remainder of the third quarter and into the fourth quarter. With 10:38 left in the game Gadsden put the Griffins ahead 18-12 with a five yard rushing score.

Fairfield Central got the ball back at their own 21-yard line with 6:48 in the game and 18-12 lead. After York forced a three and out and the Griffins punt went only seven yards the Cougars started at the Griffins 28. It only took York two plays to go 28-yards and tie the game at 18 each with 3:47 to play.

Will Barber returned the ensuing kickoff from the Griffins 13 to the Cougar 40 for a 47-yard return. A York personal foul penalty would take the ball down to the Cougar 20 following a five-yard rush before the Griffins turned it over giving York life at their own 25-yard line with 2:19 to play. Fairfield Central took a timeout with 1:37 to play prior to a third and 17 play for York, hoping to get the ball back. That is with York hit a 27-yard pass play to start their march down the field. The Cougars were 3-6 for 22 yards passing in the game prior to the final minute and a half when they hit 3-4 passes for 73 yards leading to the go ahead score. Fairfield Central had one second left after the kickoff but were unable to do anything with their one heave.

Passing– S. Gadsden (2-7-19-0-0)

Rushing– S. Gadsden (15-167-2) W. Barber (20-92-1) S. Young (7-45-0) K. Copeland (3-3-0)

Receiving– J. Woodard (1-10-0) W. Barber (1-9-0)