Undefeated Fairfield Central hosts Newberry in the Class 2A Division I quarterfinals Friday at E.K. McClendon Stadium.
The teams are not strangers. Indeed, the Griffins and Bulldogs have met 17 times through the years, winning 10 times. The most recent confrontation was last year when Fairfield Central edged Newberry, 28-21, in the semifinals to reach the championship game against Dillon.
The FC goal all season has been to rate another title shot and come away with a different decision.
The Griffins (11-0) opened the playoffs last week with a businesslike 26-0 win over Region 3 rival Keenan. FC blanked the Raiders in the first meeting, as well.
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Offensively, the Griffins produced just 293 yards, 231 on the ground. Larry G. Bell and quarterback DeAndre Belton shared the spotlight with 78 yards rushing apiece. Bell scored two touchdowns. Belton also threw a 30-yard scoring pass to Compton Walker, who also contributed on defense with two interceptions.
The veteran Belton makes FC go on the attack. The senior has 620 yards rushing and seven touchdowns, and is 85-for-148 passing for 1,416 yards and 12 TDs. Running backs Bell (138-799-15) and Joseph Young (96-726-15) are also vital cogs. Kewaun Squirewell (23-407-4) is the primary receiving threat.
On the defensive side, Larry J. Bell (72 tackles, 8 TFL, 2 fumble recoveries), Dustin Padgett (57 tackles, 43 solos), Khalil Keitt (50 tackles, 18 TFL, 16.5 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries), Byron Sampson (47 tackles, 11 TFL, 6 sacks), Davon Pearson (36 tackles, 11 TFL, 8 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries) and Chanti Jones (32 tackles, 14 TFL, 10 sacks) have all had outstanding seasons to date.
Newberry (9-3) splashed by Pendleton 21-9 in the rain last week, allowing no touchdowns.
Jaylen Caldwell led the Bulldogs with 91 yards rushing and one touchdown on eight carries.