Jackets still looking for elusive first victory
By GRAHAM WILLIAMS
Managing Editor - Union Daily Times
Fairfield Central brought its pass-happy offense into the Union County Stadium Friday night and came away with a 34-0 victory over Union.
The Griffins, once known for their Wing-T ground attack, have gone to the air this season with great success. Meanwhile, Fairfield's lightning-quick defense recorded its third shutout of the season, while sending the Yellow Jackets to their fourth straight defeat.
Big plays were the name of the game for the Griffins, who twice converted fourth down plays into touchdowns to take a 13-0 halftime lead. Early in the second quarter Chanin Johnson found Clay Scott for a 27-yard score to complete a nine-play 80-yard drive.
Later in the period, Darius Gaither took a pitch from Johnson around his left end for a six-yard score.
The margin could have been greater, had Fairfield Central not committed 14 first half penalties for 130 yards, several of which nullified scoring plays.
In the second quarter, Johnson found Larry Perry for a 35-yard score but Perry was flagged for offensive pass interference. Gaither also appeared to score on a 45-yard punt return, but it was called back to an illegal block.
Given another opportunity, Gaither made the Yellow Jackets pay early in the second half when he fielded a David Gregory punt at his own 30- yard line and raced 70 yards for a touchdown and a 19-0 Fairfield Central lead.
Union's offense, which was nearly non-existent in the first half, sprang to life at this point, as the Yellow Jackets moved from their own 17-yard line into Griffin territory behind the running of Kierre Smith and a pass interference penalty against Fairfield Central. But a Troy Epps fumble on third down ended the drive.
Fairfield Central controlled the ball after that, moving 80 yards in 10 plays, culminating in an 18-yard scoring pass from Johnson to Chambers, who spun away from a would-be tackler and sprinted into the end zone. The score was set up by a 25-yard screen pass from Johnson to Perry on third and 15 at the Union 43-yard line.
With its ground game ineffective, Union went to the air and moved 46 yards in three plays, as Willis found Dontee Stewart for 15 yards, Jack Arthur for 27 and L.J. Mobley for four more. But a third-down pass was intercepted by Tavares Anderson, ending the threat.
Sensing that Union was on the ropes, the Griffins moved in for the knockout punch, driving 69 yards in 14 plays, with Sedric Griffin plunging the final two yards for the touchdown to make the score 34-0.
Union's offense, which has scored only one touchdown this season, had a last-minute opportunity to get on the board after a Fairfield Central punt, but turned the ball over at the Griffins' 21-yard line with 12 seconds left in the game.
The Yellow Jackets travel to York next Friday in search of that elusive first victory.
First downs: Fairfield Central 14, Union 9
Yards rushing: Fairfield Central 132, Union 41
Yards passing: Fairfield Central 203, Union 146
Passing, A-C-I: Fairfield Central 17-28-1; Union 15-28-2
Penalties: Fairfield Central 14-130 yards; Union 3-15 yards
Punts: Fairfield Central 5-31.8; Union 6-36.5
Rushing: Gaither (FC) 12-63; Epps (U) 4-20.
Passing: Johnson (FC) 17-28-1, 203 yards; Willis (U) 15-28-2, 146 yards.
Receiving: Perry (FC) 4-62, Chambers (FC) 4-61, Davis (FC) 3-60; Stewart (U) 3-26, Arthur (U) 1-27, Epps (U) 4-34.
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