Fairfield Central’s young quarterback displayed the poise of a veteran Friday night in road action against Chester.
In just his second road start, junior quarterback DeAndre Belton set the tone with a 49-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter.
That score was the first time this season that the Chester Cyclones have allowed a first half touchdown.
The FCHS extra point was missed, putting a bit of a damper on an otherwise solid night by the special teams.
That miss led the Griffins to attempt a couple of two-point conversions after their other two scores, one in the second quarter and one in the third quarter, but both two-point conversion attempts failed.
Belton scored the other two rushing touchdowns for the Griffins, who led 18-0 going into the fourth quarter.
“The game was a struggle. We knew going in that Chester had a good defense,” coach Demetrius Davis said.” DeAndre really bounced back from a rough night at Abbeville.”
That resiliency bodes well for the Griffins.
With solid quarterback play, a senior running back and a stout defense, they have the chance against nearly everyone on their schedule this season.
Davis believes Chester’s defense is probably one of the best they will face this year.
As a result, he called the game differently than last week’s match up against Abbeville opting to run more than pass.
That more conservative approach reduced the likelihood of turnovers and had the benefit of wearing down the Chester team on a humid September night.
Defensively, the Griffins were led in tackles by defensive end Raheim McDaniel. McDaniel also made one of two fumble recoveries on the night. Kevin Bannister also had a standout performance from his linebacker position.
Shadarius Hopkins and Compton Walker each intercepted a pass for the Griffins. Winning the turnover battle was the key to the game, according to head coach Davis.
The effort was solid and the outcome was what he desired but Davis notes that his team has a lot of work ahead if it wants to continue its winning ways.
“We need to reduce penalties going forward,” he said.
That is the mark of a young team and he said many of the mental errors can be corrected through coaching and game experience.
The Griffins return home Friday to take on the Union Yellow Jackets at 7:30 p.m.