WINNSBORO — Friday night, the Griffins (6-1) hosted Newberry (5-2) in a game that will be remembered for a long time. On a night originally scheduled for homecoming, this rivalry match-up had plenty of stars come up big.
Early on, the game looked to be one of big plays for Newberry. The Bulldogs’ heralded quarterback, Yafari Werts, lived up to his billing with a 60-yard touchdown run on his third play from scrimmage. After Fairfield Central answered with their own touchdown drive, Werts again made a huge play on third down with a 63-yard pass to Zy Towns.
The Griffin defense would find some footing in the second quarter though and was able to hold Werts without any other yards for the first half.
Just before the half, it was Stanley McManus closing the gap for the Griffins with a 10-yard touchdown pass to QT Thompson. The Griffins then went for two and McManus again hit Thompson to give the Griffins a 14-13 edge going into the half.
The Bulldogs weren’t done and put together an impressive 15-play drive to start the third quarter and were able to run 9:17 off the clock before Amir Abrams scored on a 1 yard touchdown run. Newberry then converted a two-point conversion to build a 21-14 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Bulldogs converted an onside kick, but a penalty gave the Griffins the ball.
McManus again drove his team down, converting a 28 yard pass to Roderick Sparks and later a 9 yard touchdown pass to Tykedrist Gibson. With the game tied at 21-21, the Griffin defense came up with a big stop to force a punt, and Zchivago Hearndon reeled off a huge 40 yard return to set the Griffins up in Bulldog territory.
Fairfield Central took advantage of the field position, and Rodric Woodard took a jet sweep 30 yards to set up Jerrell Suber-Oneal’s three yard touchdown run. McManus then was able to run in another two-point conversion to give the Griffins a 29-21 lead.
Newberry coach Phil Strickland then put the ball in the hands of Yafari Werts to bring them back. Werts engineered a 12-play, 72 yard drive, capped off by an Amir Abrams 3 yard touchdown.
The Griffin defense then came up with their biggest play of the night. Werts took the ball and ran to his right where he had success all night and was met by a host of Griffins and stopped short. The Griffins faced a tough test they likely won’t encounter again until the playoffs, and pulled out a hard fought win.
Fairfield Central will host Pelion (1-5) next Friday at 7:30 p.m. in their final home game of the season.
Reach James Inabinet at 803-635-4016.