Charles Henderson makes statement win against ChildersburgPublished 11:16pm Friday, November 15, 2013
Charles Henderson went on the road in the second round of the Alabama High School Athletic Association playoffs and made a statement. A big statement.
The Trojans jumped ahead early and pulled away late, rolling past the Childersburg Tigers 35-0. Charles Henderson head coach Mike Dean tipped his hat to the Childersburg players and coaches.
“You have to give them credit,” Dean said. “They came in with a good game plan, and it worked pretty well for them early. We were able to come up with some big stops, and we just have a couple of more players than they do. They are class program”
The Trojan defense bent some in the first half, but never broke, and always seemed to get a big play when it needed one.
Childersburg’s first drive of the night ended on a Marquis Simmons interception deep in Trojan territory. In the second half, Charles Henderson picked up five turnover-on-downs, one inside the Charles Henderson 10-yard line that thwarted any hopes of a late Childersburg rally.
Dean said Childersburg went to a familiar set in the first half.
“They went twins open with a wing, and just ran the lead backside,” Dean said. “Eufaula ran the same set, and we just had to adjust. The kids have to go when a blitz is called. That’s why they call it a blitz. We had some arm tackles as well, and that’s not what we have been taught to do. We have some work, but I love that they never quit, and got the shutout.”
Dean’s players agreed.
“We had to make some adjustments, but when we did, it was over from there,” said linebacker LaJory Fitzpatrick. “They have some really good athletes, but we know that we can get it done. We must stay focused, and trust the call and play our assignment.”
John Johnson followed up his five-touchdown performance against Dora with a 328 yard, three-touchdown night against the Tigers.
Johnson has gained 697 yards of offense and scored eight touchdowns in the first two playoff games.
“Just like last week, I tried to hit the hole as hard as I could,” Johnson said. “My offensive line and the guys out on the edge did a great job holding their blocks. They make my job easier.”
Johnson ran for two touchdowns on rushes of 58 and 56 yards, and also reeled in a 59-yard pass from Austin Ingram. On the touchdown pass, the Trojans were faced with third-and-14 from the Tigers 41.
Offensive coordinator Rodney Jordan dialed Johnson’s number, and the soft-spoken senior delivered.
“It was a four vert call,” Johnson said. “The safety covered me up, so I broke it off to the inside. Austin put it on the money. It was a great pass from a great quarterback. I look to see if there is an extra block to pick up. If not, I just turn on the jets.”
Johnson picked up 229 yards rushing on just 13 carries.
Mondarius Dixon finished with 89 yards rushing, becoming the nineteenth Trojan to rush for 1000 yards in a career. Dixon also reeled in a six-yard touchdown pass from Ingram on the Trojans first drive.
The Trojans outgained the Tigers 479 yards to just 206.
Charles Henderson will hit the road once again in the quarterfinal round of the AHSAA playoffs next week. The Trojans will travel to Central-Clay County in Lineville. Charles Henderson beat Central in the second round of the 2012 playoffs 13-0.
Dean expects a very physical football game on the road.
“They aren’t as big up front, but they may be a little more athletic,” said Dean. “That school is made up of two programs that are used to winning, and they have kept it going. Our kids will love that environment, and next we will be a war. And that is exactly what you want in the elite eight.”