On Pink Out Night, the Fairfield Central Griffins proved pink belongs to Griffins and not to Panthers. The fired up FCHS squad locked up a Region title with a convincing 56-0 victory.
The Griffins used pure team speed to defeat Pelion, scoring early and often in this one, with defensive back Compton Walker opening up the scoring with a 66-yard punt return for a touchdown. That punt return gave the Griffins a 6-0 lead with 9:46 left in the first quarter. Compton Walker’s PAT was no good. Running back Damien Bell burst through the line for a ten-yard touchdown run with 6:21 left in the opening quarter. The PAT run by quarterback DeAndre “Trey” Belton was no good.
DeAndre McDaniel 7 recovered a Pelion fumble at the Fairfield 41-yard line. The ensuing drive was capped by a Larry Bell 14-yard touchdown run. The PAT was no good, but the Griffins led 18-0.
Pelion defenders had no answer for the Griffins zone running schemes, but FCHS did air it out a few times, notably on a 77-yard catch and run from Belton to wide receiver Keith Workman with 7:33 left in the second quarter. Walker’s extra point was good, giving FCHS a 25-0 lead.
Later in the quarter senior fullback Antonio Lewis tacked on a touchdown with a six yard run. Walker’s PAT was good, putting the Griffins up 32-0. Fairfield Central led 39-0 at the half thanks to a Damien Bell 5-yard run.
In the second half Coach Demetrius Davis called a trick play which worked to perfection. It was a throwback pass where Damien Bell took a pitch and threw the ball back across the formation to his quarterback, Belton. Belton showed agility and shiftiness on a 29-yard scamper for a touchdown following the Bell pass. That stretched the Griffins lead to 38-0.
With 1:30 left in the third quarter, a Pelion drive stalled and the Panthers were stopped on fourth down at their own 24-yard line. Two plays later sophomore running back Joe Young got into the scoring column with a 20-yard touchdown run. Walker’s PAT was good and FCHS led 56-0. Pelion established a solid drive with hard nosed running by 6, but the Griffin defense stiffened and preserved the shutout.
Damien Bell led the Griffins with 114 yards rushing. Other leading rushers were Byron Sampson with 34 yard and Larry G. Bell with 25 yards
The team’s leading receiver was Workman with one catch for 77 yards and a touchdown. Belton threw for a touchdown and scored a receiving touchdown on a night that was all Griffins.
On defense, Raheim McDaniel had half a sack and recovered a fumble. He also had one reception for 34 yards.
Chanti Jones combined with McDaniel on a sack.
Team leaders for Pelion were Isaiah Jenkins with 81 yards rushing and James McFadden who rushed for 15 yards on four carries. Other than on one first half drive where short , rhythm passes were clicking and on the final drive when they mounted a scoring threat, Pelion could do little on offense in this one and the Panther defense was over matched as well.
The win gives the Griffins the region championship and they lock up a first round bye in the playoffs as well as home field advantage since Fairfield Central’s region is the region host this year.