With Fort Mill down a key player, Fairfield Central proved to be too much for the Yellow Jackets.
With senior running back Asa Kryst sidelined because of an injured ankle, Fort Mill was down a man before the game even started. Kryst should be back for the Jackets' rival, Nation Ford, next week.
Fairfield Central was coming off its only loss of the season, a Region 4-AAA game to South Pointe, and was ready to show that loss was out of its system.
The Griffins picked off Fort Mill's Preston Fry on the fourth play of the Jackets' opening drive.
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After a big run from junior Jimmy Walker on the opening drive, the Jackets' defense was able to hold the Griffins out of the end zone.
Defense was the key for both squads in the opening quarter as each team kept the other out of the end zone. Fort Mill's rushing attack stalled as it mounted just 13 total yards of rushing on seven attempts in the first quarter.
Fort Mill's passing game struggled as the Griffins' secondary contained the Jackets' receivers and Fry overthrew his targets on several occasions.
Fairfield Central finally got on the board with just under 3:15 left in the half as senior running back Devron Pye scored from 1-yard out. The play was set up by a big 41-yard pass from senior quarterback Danny Miller to Walker, taking Fairfield Central to the 15-yard line.
Although the scoreboard didn't reflect it, Fairfield Central put up 126 yards on the ground. At the half, Walker had 92 yards rushing, compared to Fort Mill's team total of 21. The Jackets were a little better passing the ball with 53 yards at the half. Fairfield Central wasn't much better as the Griffins had 72 passing yards at the half.
Fort Mill picked up just three first downs in the first half.
Defense was the only thing that kept the Jackets in the game in the first half, as they had four tackles for losses.
Run defense let the Yellow Jackets down to start the third quarter as the Griffins came out and ran the ball on eight straight plays, marching 68 yards to score with a 3-yard run from Miller.
Fry was picked off again on Fort Mill's second drive of the third quarter, as the Jackets continued to struggle moving the ball on the ground. A seven-play drive for the Jackets resulted in just one pass play, when Fry was picked off.
The pick resulted in Fairfield Central scoring again. The Griffins went 80 yards on 11 plays. Pye scored his second touchdown of the game on just his second carry on a 1-yard plunge.
Sophomore Damian Bell led the charge down the field as he helped the Griffins pick up several first downs. Bell collected 96 yards in the game for Fairfield Central.
Fairfield Central added one more score on a 70-yard touchdown pass from Miller to senior Chris Alston with less than four minutes left.
FAIRFIELD CENTRAL 28
FORT MILL 0
FC - Devron Pye one-yard run (Tevin Workman kick)
FC - Danny Miller three-yard run (Workman kick)
FC - Pye one-yard run (Workman kick)
FC - Miller to Chris Alston 70-yard pass (Workman kick)
RUSHING - Fairfield Central: Damian Bell 15-96, Danny Miller 6-8, Jimmy Walker 17-163, Devron Pye 2-2, Will Miller 1-24. Fort Mill: Preston Fry 7-(-13), Nick Raszeja 10-15, Tony Godbolt 2-5, Lee Lanum 3-2, Deryan Sanders 5-16, Quentari Walker 6-10, Matt Bowden 2-1.
PASSING - Fairfield Central: Danny Miller 6-12-0 142. Fort Mill: Preston Fry 4-18-2 74.
RECEIVING - Fairfield Central: Shaquille Young 1-11, Damian Bell 1-27, Chris Alston 3-133, Jimmy Walker 1-41. Fort Mill: Tony Godbolt 1-(-1), Lee Lanum 1-48, Nick Raszeja 1-6, Tyler Klipa 1-21.
RECORDS: Fairfield Central 8-1, 3-1; Fort Mill 4-5, 1-3