Charles Henderson's Courtney Downing rushed for 262 yards and four touchdowns in the Trojans 73-6 victory over Headland on Friday, October 12, 2012. (Photo.Tyler Meyers)

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Downing’s 4-TD night leads Charles Henderson to record-setting victory

Published 12:28am Saturday, October 13, 2012

Fans returning to Troy to enjoy the Charles Henderson homecoming festivities got to witness a record-setting performance by the Trojans.

Charles Henderson defeated Headland 73-6 Friday night setting new school records for point scored and margin of victory.

“The kids get the credit,” Charles Henderson head coach Mike Dean said. “Sometimes games work out that way. We created some turnovers and got some quick scores.”

The previous records were both set in 2002 when the Trojans defeated Escambia County 62-0.

Running back Courtney Downing followed up his 220-yard, four touchdowns performance against St. James with 262 yards and four more scores on Friday.

Downing got the Trojans on the board early when he took the handoff on the team’s first play from scrimmage 89 yards to the end zone.

“Execution. It’s all about execution,” Downing said. “When we execute it’s hard to stop us.”

Charles Henderson (5-2, 3-2 Class 4A Region 2) scored in all three phases of the game as the Trojans blocked a punt in the end zone on the ensuing drive for a safety. In the second quarter, Demario Harris intercepted a pass and returned it 99 yards for a touchdown to give Charles Henderson a 24-0 lead.


The Rams (1-6, 0-5) not only failed to slow down the Charles Henderson offense, but they couldn’t keep from dropping grenades in their own foxhole either. Following Harris’ pick-six, Headland fumbled with 2:47 remaining in the half at its own 8. Two plays later, Downing was in the end zone with his second score of the night.

Charles Henderson would intercept two passes in the game and force four fumbles recovering one.

Backup running back Kristopher McKinney also had a nice night for the Trojans, who rushed for 397 total yards in the game. The freshman rushed for 56 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns. Luke Hastings also had a rushing score on the night.

“I knew we had it in us,” said Downing about the team’s offensive explosion. “It’s been coming for a while. We just keep working harder in practice and getting better.”

Charles Henderson finished with 426 yards of offense.

“Each week we’re getting better and better,” Dean said. “I thought we started out a little flat, but got things going after that.”

The only negative in Charles Henderson’s game was a debit of 99 yards on 10 penalties.

With the win, the Trojans improved their playoff positioning. While they have yet to clinch a playoff berth, it will take a complete collapse to oust Charles Henderson from the postseason. With Alabama Christian’s loss to Tallassee Friday night, the Trojans jump to third in the region standings, meaning they will still travel in the first round of the playoffs.

Charles Henderson travels to Ashford High School next week.

  • Omelas

    A football score of 73-6 shows an absolute lack of class on the part of the coach. Yes, you want to win, and with enough margin that a last minute mistake doesn’t cost you the game. But, to absolutely humiliate a bunch of kids that way is completely inexcusable.

    This coach has been calling out his own players publicly, and now he humiliates an opposing team. Something ought to be done. Where is his principal? Why didn’t he intervene? Does Boyd English think this is acceptable?

    What about the Lee Hicks? He is a former(?) coach. Why didn’t he get the CHHS principal on the coach’s backside before it went that far?

    I see only two possible ansers. 1. Both Hicks and English lack the backbone to intervene. 2. Both Hicks and English agree with humiliating a bunch of high school kids publicly.

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    • Wes Johnson

      I disagree Omelas. I watched with purpose how Coach Dean would handle the blowout. He played as many kids as he could. Headland turned the ball over twice inside its own 20. Turnovers and an inability to tackle Charles Henderson’s No. 2,3 and 4 running backs led to the score, not Dean. The Trojans ran the same two plays the entire fourth quarter…Give left and give right. Not trying to defend the home team. I would say the same if Headland had scored 73 in that manner.

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    • Invictus

      Seriously? You think the coach should tell kids that are third and fourth string, that never see the field, to just kneel on the ball or something when they can finally get a chance to play? Gimme a break. If this were an academic contest, would you want the kids not to answer when called upon?

      There are winners and losers in any contest and unfortunately people in the world today want to make everyone feel good about themselves and have no losers. Probably the reason people don’t work as hard as they used to because you will get a free handout.

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  • Hilltop

    Nice post Wes. It would have been one thing if CHHS has been throwing the ball all over he place in the 4th quarter. Cannot fault CHHS on this for playing all the backups.

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  • pikelibtroy87

    This is a lack of class. I do not live in Troy anymore but what has CHHS came to??? Wow, lay off the gas because you cannot prove anything by beating the worst team around by 60. Prove something and beat teams that are sitting at the top of the region instead of last. Reading The messenger this morning made me extremely glad to be a PIKE LIBERAL ARTS graduate!

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    • Bill_OReally

      PLA…the school that one time had someone sponsor a black player (that they ran to death in the state championship) just so they could finally win one. Yeah that’s real class.

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  • abc

    Having actually attended the game Friday night, I can say the only other thing Coach Dean could have done would have been to put the cheerleaders in. Headland had absolutely no defense, and CHHS ran the ball at will. When they’re steadily handing the ball to you, what are you supposed to do, just look the other way as a 3rd and 4th string player who seldom gets a chance to play? Headland really was that bad.

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  • OldSchoolPike3Worker

    Thanks for rebuking Omelas Wes. You hurt your team in the long run when you don’t allow your bench players to perform to their best ability.

    There is one point that I would like to make about this whole PLAS vs CHHS thing. When I was growing up, there wasn’t this us vs. them mentality, when it came to private and public schools in Troy, and it doesn’t have to be that way now. A parent has a moral obligation to decide how to best educate their children, whether that be public, private or home school.

    Having said that, if you live in an area zoned for Troy City Schools then you are supporting that system whether you choose to send your kids there or not. You are still contributing with you tax dollars. If you live in Troy, then you in some way “own a piece” of the public schools. How you choose to educate your kids is your business, but constantly dissing a public school system, that you help pay for, tells me that there are a of people that haven’t thought this through before posting a comment (something that I do quit often.)

    One more thought on the football game, I played in enough homecoming losses for CHHS back in the day to make even Omelas happy. I’m proud to see such great playing from all strings. Go Trojans!

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  • Observer

    When teams are mismatched this badly there is little the coach can do to hold down the score. Putting in the scrubs and running the same plays over and over are about the limit. At some point trying to keep from scoring becomes unsporting in itself – adding insult to injury.
    Years ago it would have been deemed unethical to have even scheduled the game against an obviously over-matched opponent. But Troy still has Ashford and Union Springs – similar teams to Headland – to play.
    But, the Headland, Ashford and Bullock county games are not options – they are region games required by the AHSAA whose sole objective is to make as much money as possible out of the post-season playoffs. Games like Troy-Headland do not make money for the teams but in end contribute to deciding which teams have the opportunity to make big money for the AHSAA.

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  • StevenTyler

    pikelibtroy87: Your impeccable grammar made it obvious you were a PLA graduate.

    “This is a lack of class. I do not live in Troy anymore but what has CHHS came to???” BRILLIANT use of grammar!! One little word makes you look like an uneducated hick. Go back a few years and look at PLA’s football season–running the score up (and NOT on purpose) was OKAY back then? Double standard, no?

    Bill_O’Really: PLA bought TWO players this year (one black and one white) and attempted to buy more and what have they done? They nearly killed one kid and have 2-3 out with injuries because they don’t have enough kids to safely field a team. What does it say about a school when they send their coach to other schools in the county to poach their players? It’s funny that most parents send their kids to PLA so they don’t have to be around people of other races and nationalities but for the sake of FOOTBALL, they will pay for kids to come there! They don’t care about the educational welfare of these kids–it is ALL about FOOTBALL. It is funny to note that there were many, many kids offered scholarships to PLA and they turned them down. The fact that only 2 families took them up on their offer should tell you something!

    Pauly D: The CHHS/PLA debate has been going on for YEARS and TCS FINALLY has a Superintendent who is fed up with kids leaving the system for a sub-par education and he wants to stop it. The old administration was fine with running the system into the ground and she ALMOST did it. Morale is at an all time high at TCS. We have families coming back to our system and new families coming from PLA and other schools. I’d say this administration has done EXACTLY what it was put in place to do. So, you can criticize all you want–you don’t have kids in either system, so you really have no facts to back up your statements. Spouting off unintelligent comments as you consistently do, makes it obvious you are just here to stir the pot.

    OSPW3: Your comment is spot on! PLA parents pay taxes that go to the school system–why do they want what they pay for to be unsuccessful? That is like buying stock and hoping the company tanks! Having TWO strong choices helps this city be competitive for industry and a great place to raise a family.

    As for football, I hope CHHS continues to allow their 3rd and 4th string players to get experience as we continue the “cupcake” portion of the schedule. If we STILL beat these teams by 60-70 points, then so be it. You can’t tell kids to STOP playing to satisfy a bunch of A-holes who post on the Messenger message board–none of whom have any connection to the school other than living in the same county in which it is located.

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    • Observer

      What we have seen so far this season shows how little difference the coach or superintendent make. With the former coach and superintendent CHHS would have the same record it has and the same prospects for the rest of the season. The cup-cake season will have people expecting great things – but, in two years when the state reclassifies again CHHS will probably go back to 5A.

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  • Pauly D

    Mr Tyler – I am guessing you are 40′ish based on your name and comments. How many of your CHHS classmates send their kids to PLA? Are they racist? How many local business leaders, accountants, dr’s, etc send their kids there? Are they all bad? Our new mayor works for WS and WS + KW are PLA families – are they all bad? Sub par education but appears many PLA families employ or we do business with them daily. Are we then a sub par town and what does that say for people who are employed by persons that had a sub par education?

    PLA recruiting players isn’t wrong. Prattville recruiting players was wrong. You have less reason to be critical of PLAS as you don’t pay for kids to go there. All tax payers can critizie TCS as we have skin in the game due to this socialist government we adhere too.

    Maybe some of the CHHS fine grads that will soon be in prison for white collar crimes can come to your defense.

    I don’t have kids in either school, but the arrogance that seeps through your comments is exactly why TCS are where they are and will never be any better. When the $$ is all spent and the education is the same, what will the next answer be?

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  • Jack Bauer

    ok. so both schools stink but have produced some outstanding students. pike lib recruits (don’t all private schools either in aisa or ahsaa) and chhs has issues. i bet the kids still hang out together on weekends and don’t care what parents or former students think. in the words of a famous man, CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?!?!? In the words of me, i don’t care what you and your kids do just shut up and lets all pull for our troy trojans.

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  • Omelas

    My, my, my. The Messenger has another of my posts off-screen “awaiting moderation.” I have either touched a nerve, or they doubt the veracity of what I posted about the TCS superintendent and the Troy City Council’s plan to strategically dis-incorporate certain area on the edge of the city limits.

    If you want to verify what I posted, poll your County Commissioners. They know the city’s plan.

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  • WDM

    Wes, thanks for your comment,Omelas has shown again he knows nothing about football.

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  • OldSchoolPike3Worker

    Paul, when it comes to public schools, people have a more direct connection to where their tax dollars go than they do with federal spending.

    What I’m really trying to say is, a citizen in Troy is much more likely to be able to drink a beer with local school officials than with President Obama.

    Besides, Alabama takes in way more federal money than we pay out in federal taxes.

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  • Trojan97

    Omelas! You are trying too hard son! Its way too obvious that you have it out for Lee Hicks. Its seems most of your post always have something to say about Lee Hicks. I don’t see how this article has anything to do with Lee Hicks. Congrats to Coach Dean and the CHHS Trojans for a classy victory. You made Troy proud and allowed some of the younger guys to gain valuable experience. Maybe it would help us here if you would explain just why you have it out for Lee Hicks so badly! Did he get a job that you wanted someone else to get? What? Its just gets old seeing you trash Coach Dean and the football team all the time. There is obviously something else eating away at you. It sounds more childish than anything.

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  • Omelas

    I have never spoken badly of the team/students. I do have a problem with the behavior of certain adults in the school system, as well as the quality of education the system provides overall.

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  • areyoukiddingme

    Omelas you obviously have no regard for high school football or the TCS system. If you would’ve been at the game you would have been able to see exactly what happend and realize how stupid you sound in your comment. Someone had to of put your panies in a wad when they hired Lee Hicks as superintendent and your still jealous about that. Just wait and you’ll see all of the great things the TCS system is going to put forth.

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  • Local Man

    I agree that some people just aren’t cut out to be managers, leaders, etc. The world needs followers too! As a local tax payer I am thankful for Mr. Lee Hicks and the school board. I am thankful that the school system is no longer wasting money on administration. We have good leaders in ALL 3 schools now. They are addressing the needs at every level to get this system headed in the right direction. A direction it should have been heading years ago. But again previous administrators have proven to be a waste of time and money (i.e. previous administration at CHMS). Can’t wait to see what the future holds for the City of Troy and OUR wonderful school system. Thank you City Leaders for ALL that you do.

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