WINNSBORO — Fairfield Central (7-0, 2-0) continued its assault on region III-AA Friday night with a convincing 58-6 win over the Shamrocks of Eau Claire (0-7, 0-2) on homecoming night.
With the win, the Griffins have now won 21 of 22 games all-time against Eau Claire. Fairfield Central head coach Demetrius Davis said after the game that he was pleased with his team’s effort.
“This was a good win for us, but I really feel for this kids over there (Eau Claire),” he said. “It has to be tough to go to work every day and losing.”
Fairfield Central’s Joseph Young took the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown to spot the Griffins the lead just 11 seconds into the game. Compton Walker converted the two-point conversion after completing a pass to Javahnne Neal.
The kickoff return was the first to go for a touchdown since Davis has been the head coach and taking a quick lead was all a part of his plan. “That’s what we wanted, was to come out and attack early,” he noted.
The Griffins put up 37 points in the first quarter.
Eau Claire missed an opportunity on its first drive, when a successful third down conversion was taken away because of a penalty. The Shamrocks ended up converting just one of their nine third downs.
On the ensuing drive, it took the Griffins four plays to go 73 yards in just over a minute to get into the endzone. The drive started with a 33-yard pass from DeAndre Belton to Kewan Squirewell, and was then polished off by a 30-yard touchdown run by Belton on a zone-read play. Walker converted the two-point play by scrambling out of the pocket and running into the endzone, giving the Griffins a 16-0 advantage.
On their second drive, Eau Claire went three-and-out and Neal returned the punt 34 yards to give the Griffins excellent field position at the Eau Claire 30-yard line.
It took the Griffins just one play to score yet again. Belton showed off magical hands when he fooled the defense on a fake reverse by hiding the ball and then lobbing a pass to a streaking Taveres Cook for the touchdown from 30 yards out. The extra point was good and Fairfield extended its lead to 23-0.
Eau Claire had a punt blocked by Fairfield’s Devin Simmons, who scooped up the loose ball and scored from two yards out making the score 30-0 halfway through the first quarter.
On their following possession, the Shamrocks would reach into their bag of tricks for a fake punt when facing fourth down, but Walker made a solid open field tackle and gave the Griffins the ball at the Eau Claire 37-yard line. On the fourth play of the drive, Fairfield would run the old Statue of Liberty play and fool the Shamrock defense as Young trotted into the endzone from 26 yards out. At the end of the first quarter the Griffins led 37-0.
Two minutes into the second quarter, Fairfield would strike again. Belton threw a dart to hit Javaris Cook in stride on a slant route and J. Cook did the rest by running past the Eau Claire secondary to score on a 50-yard pass play. The Griffins would take a 44-0 lead at the half.
Belton and the rest of the varsity starters only played 12 plays before giving way to the junior varsity and second-string players. Through the first 24 minutes of play the Griffin defense held Eau Claire scoreless and allowed just 42 yards of offense. Fairfield compiled 243 yards of offense in the first half, and finished with 373 yards.
Despite some penalties and miscues, Davis said he was impressed with what he saw from his second string and JV players.
“I thought they did pretty good,” he stated. “I like giving our JV guys experience by playing on Friday nights and anytime we have the chance we’re going to do that, because these lights are little brighter are Friday night and its good to get them ready for that.”
On their second drive of the second half Eau Claire would finally show some life. The Shamrocks ran six plays to go 74 yards for a touchdown. The drive was powered by the running of Takari Robinson who ran it three times for 54 yards and capped the drive off with a 41-yard burst off the left side.
Robinson finished the night with a game high 107 yards on the ground. After an unsuccessful two-point attempt, the Shamrocks trailed Fairfield 44-6.
The Griffins would put up two more scores in the fourth quarter including a Randarian Sampson 10-yard run and a Terrell Suber-Oneal 36-yard scamper.
Fairfield will close out a four-game home stand Oct. 18 when they host Keenan (5-2, 2-0), which is coming off a 28-0 win over Columbia. Keenan won seven games last season, but did fall to Fairfield by a score of 42-18.
“Keenan is a team that is trying to compete for the region and they’re going to come in here and get after us,” Davis stated.
Davis said his Griffins will stay sharp by putting the Eau Claire game behind them and watching film to prepare for Keenan.
“I always tell them (Griffins) that they’re not quite as good as they think they are,” he said. “We have to keep getting better. One of two things happens every game. Either you get better or you get worse. And if you stay the same then I think you got worse. So everyday we have to come and get a little better.”
Kickoff between Keenan and Fairfield Central is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.