CHHS knocks off Eufaula, ends season as 4A’s lone unbeatenPublished 12:36am Saturday, November 2, 2013
Hugs, handshakes and smiles dotted the Charles Henderson sideline as the final seconds rolled off the clock Friday night.
Charles Henderson went on the road to, and knocked off, 5A Eufaula 59-42 to put an exclamation point on the end of the regular season. The Tigers went back-and-forth for most of the first three quarters until the Trojan defense came alive in the middle of the third.
Charles Henderson head coach Mike Dean said the game was huge for his team with the playoffs beginning next week.
“I am super proud of our effort,” Dean said. “We needed tonight. We needed a win over a quality 5A opponent that has great athletes. We made some mistakes early on defense. We were in the right position to make the play, we just didn’t make it. We battled back, and the kids never got down.”
Eufaula broke runs of 62 and 75 yards early in the first quarter to jump out to a quick 14-7 lead. The Tigers struck again with 4:27 to go in the quarter on a 2-yard quarterback keeper to extend their lead to 21-7.
The Trojans responded quickly, going 64 yards in just 8 plays for their second score of the game. Quarterback Austin Ingram found Kenyatta Jones in the back of the end zone on a fade route for the score.
Following another Eufaula TD drive, Charles Henderson went on a 21-0 run through the last 5:50 of the second quarter to end the first half.
John Johnson scored on a 1-yard carry to start the momentum. Ingram found Mondarius Dixon on wheel route from 28 yards out for the second score, and later in the half Johnson found the end zone on a 2-yard plunge.
“I love the way our defense responded in the second half, and they never could stop our offense,” Dean said. “It was a great testing tool for us going in to the playoffs, but we still have to eliminate mistakes.
Teadarion Myhand returned a Eufaula pass for a touchdown in the third quarter to turn the momentum back in the Trojans’ direction. Following that play, Charles Henderson forced another pick on the Tigers’ next possession, and then forced three straight three-and-outs.
Charles Henderson linebacker Richard McBryde said Dean challenged the defense to make the plays to win the game.
“He came up to us in the second quarter, and told us that we had to make the plays,” McBryde said. “He always keeps us where we need to be. We were playing a little wild, and he told us to calm down and take a breath. We got some stops, and were able to play our game from there on.”
No. 1-ranked UMS-Wright lost to St. Paul’s 28-0 Friday night, and Bibb County fell to Pleasant Grove 48-12.
Charles Henderson ends the regular season as the only undefeated 4A team in the state, and will most likely top the Alabama Sports Writers Association poll for just the sixth time in school history.
The players and coaches have treated week 10 of the regular season as a playoff week for game-planning purposes. Dean feels that will help his team over the next few weeks.
“This week helps us wake up,” Dean said. “We will see teams in the playoffs that are equally as talented as Eufaula, and this helps us prepare. This is a great win, but the big one is five weeks away. We go back to work tomorrow.”
Charles Henderson begins the “Road to Tuscaloosa” Friday night at home.
Charles Henderson hosts Dora, the team that eliminated the Trojans from the playoffs in 2012, in the first round of the Alabama High School Athletic Association playoffs.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Troy.