WINNSBORO — Fairfield Central High School football fans got their first look at the 2014 Griffins on Friday, as Fairfield Central held its annual Spring Game at E.K. Mclendon Stadium in Winnsboro.
The Griffin’s varsity squad split up into two teams, the black squad (defense) and the white squad (offense).
Using an adjusted scoring system (see breakout) to account for defensive accomplishments, the black squad defeated the white squad 23-7.
The defense clearly is ahead of the curve, as the offense only scored on one of its 10 drives.
Byron Sampson, Shadarius Hopkins and Josh Bell all came away with an interception. Hopkins and Bell returned theirs for a touchdown.
The lone scoring drive for the offense came on the eighth drive of the evening, when Stanley McManus scored on a seven yard touchdown run up the middle. McManus also converted the extra-point attempt.
Rising senior running back Joe Young kept the drive alive on run on fourth and three at the 21-yard line.
The defense accounted for three turnovers, two touchdowns, four defensive stops and two three-and-outs.
Fairfield Central head coach Demetrius Davis said his number one goal in the spring is to end with the same amount of players he started with, which the Griffins did.
“We didn’t get anybody hurt and we got some good work done,” he noted after the spring game.
Davis said that the 2014 team will have a lot of young players and that summer work will be imperative to their success during the fall and noted that his staff will have to get the players faster and stronger this summer.
Seven-on-Seven drills will start in the middle of June, most likely against the Irmo Yellow Jackets, who are now coached by Reggie Kennedy.
Davis said it felt good to finally be back on the field with the players in pads in a game-like situation.
“Before we practiced the staff brought the guys in and buried some of our ghosts,” he stated. “From that point on, our kids have a pretty good short-term memory so they can forget that type of deal and move on.”
Those ghosts that Davis refers to are undoubtedly the last time the Griffins took the field when they fell in the state championship game to Dillon on Dec. 6.
Davis said the 2014 team will be a different team than the one that appeared in back to back state championship games, but is a good group.
Region III-AA will lose North Central and welcome in Newberry High School and Mid-Carolina.
Davis is already anticipating a strong match-up against the Bulldogs of Newberry.
“We’ve been lucky to beat them the last two years and they’re going to return a lot of players,” he noted.
All in all though, Davis believes if his team takes care of the little things then the big things will take care of themselves.
“If we do what we’re suppose to this summer, then we’ll be fine,” he said. “If we can get our June and July done, then September, October, November and December will take care of itself.”