Fairfield Central topped Union County 20-7 in the second round of the 3A playoffs and advances to take on Belton-Honea Path next week.
The two teams knew coming into the postseason action a loss equated to a season’s end and the Griffins took another step closer to the Dec. 4 3A state championship game at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia.
Griffins quarterback Danny Miller had a hand in three touchdowns as he threw for two and rushed for another score to lead his team to a playoff win.
Both teams drove the length of the field on their opening drives but neither could punch it into the end zone.
Fairfield Central’s drive stopped at the Jackets’ 5 as the Griffins turned the ball over on downs.
Union County drove the ball down to the Griffins’ 30 before Fairfield Central’s Dana Macklin intercepted Union County quarterback Keiston Smith’s pass.
The Griffins made the most of the Jackets’ turnover as they used a 15-play, 75-yard drive to score the first half’s only points. Union County ended the first quarter with a personal foul penalty that put the Griffins on their own 40. The biggest play of Fairfield Central’s drive was on second-and-16 when D. Miller broke tackle after tackle for a 34-yard gain to Union County’s 1-yard line. On fourth-and-goal, Miller threw a screen pass to senior wide receiver Chris Alston and Alston did the rest as he lunged into the end zone for a 6-0 second-quarter lead. The Griffins’ point after kick was no good and the score remained 6-0 through halftime.
On the Jackets’ second play of the second half, Union County’s Smith completed his first pass of the game to Avion Carter down to the Griffins’ 13-yard line. Three plays later, Smith called his own number and scored on a 9-yard rushing touchdown. Union County’s Brandon Shetley made the point after kick to give the Jackets a 7-6 lead.
The Griffins regained momentum on their next drive as they took advantage of great field position at midfield. On their third play of the drive, Miller scored on a 25-yard rushing touchdown with 3:26 remaining in the third frame. Griffins’ running back William Miller scored on a 2-point conversion to add to the Griffins’ lead and make it a 14-7 ball game.
Miller would throw his second touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter as he found Devron Pye for a 4-yard touchdown. The Griffins’ kick was no good, but not before they added to their fourth-quarter lead and put the final score of the game on the board for what would become a 20-7 victory.
When Smith’s pass fell into the arms of Fairfield Central’s Randall Adams with less than five minutes remaining in the game, the Griffins sealed the road victory.
South Pointe -20 Daniel - 14
Greenville - 51 Seneca - 7
Fairfield Central - 20 Union - 7
Belton-Honea Path - 37 Chester - 7
Hartsville - 20 Airport - 17
Bluffton - 34 A.C. Flora - 30
Berkeley - 35 Midland Valley - 7
Myrtle Beach - 45 Cane Bay - 22
Next Week's Games
Greenville @ South Pointe
Fairfield Central @ Belton-Honea Path
Bluffton @ Hartsville
Berkeley @ Myrtle Beach