WINNSBORO — The Fairfield Central Griffins will continue their aggressive play while getting in touch with their feminine sides Friday night. Players will be wearing pink socks as a tribute for the Pink Out breast cancer awareness event taking place at their game against Pelion High School.
Honorary team captains will include several cancer survivors with ties to the school district. School board members Andrea Harrison and Beth Reid as well as district employees Marsha Cloud and April Thomas are all cancer survivors and will be honored by being on the field for the coin toss.
“We’d like to encourage the crowd to wear pink and bring awareness to breast cancer during National Breast Cancer month,” coach Demetrius Davis said.
Davis said that the Pelion Panthers are a hard nosed opponent. With only one loss in the region, the Panthers have a lot to play for. Fairfield Central is undefeated in region games with two region games remaining. A win Friday night would put the Griffins just one step away from their preseason goal of being region champions.
Pelion features a power running game with a lot of zone isolation running plays. They spread the field and run zone read option, which may keep defensive end Raheim McDaniel and linebacker Kevin Bannister busy.
“When things get tight they line up in the I-formation and run right at you,” Davis said. “With a solid offensive line and steady quarterback play, their offense is formidable.”
If the Panthers go to the air, they need to beware of Devontae Foster who is one of the tops in the Midlands with seven interceptions in just eight games played.
McDaniel’s aggressive pass rushing skills may be negated some by the read option scheme, but Davis likes the Griffins’ chances. Davis said this will be a big test for his defense and that the tackling must improve for the Griffins to win. They have been working every day on fundamentals in practice to improve tackling. Pelion has a skilled receiver and an athletic running back that will cause the defense to mix things up to keep defending the pass as the Griffins load the box to stop the run.
“Through eight games, around 90 percent of our starters have really stepped up and surprised us with how far they have come so quickly in their first year of varsity experience,” he said.
He is pleased with the progress of junior quarterback Andre Belton.
“Belton really is coming along. Each week I expect him to get a little better,” Davis said.
Mistake-free football, including solid special teams play, is what Davis looks for in the match-up against Pelion.
“I tell our players all the time that Fairfield Central plays against Fairfield Central every week. We have to make sure we beat Fairfield Central by protecting the football and avoiding foolish penalties. If we do that, I believe we can beat any high school team we play,” Davis said.