Opp vs. Charles Henderson highlights good weekend

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 13, 2000

A perfect weekend for Pike County’s high school and college football fans.

All of our teams won! Charles Henderson 40-32 over Opp in three overtimes, Pike Liberal Arts 40-7 over Greenville Academy, Goshen 29-13 over Luverne and Pike County 20-7 over Lanett in high school play.

In college football our own No. 1 ranked Troy State Trojans beat No. 4 Appalachian State 34-28, Alabama beat Vanderbilt 28-10, and Auburn beat Ole Miss 35-27.

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What a great weekend of football!

Watching Charles Henderson’s three overtime game against Opp made a nervous wreck out of me. There were so many big plays in that game on both sides of the field.

Probably the biggest play of the game came on the final play of the game. the Trojans leading 40-32 in the third overtime, Opp’s outstanding quarterback Adam burgess looked to send the game into a fourth overtime but was turned upside down by Henderson’s free safety Will Jones at the two yard line to preserve the Trojan victory. Jones’ play on a fourth and goal from the seven yard line will be remembered for a long time in the T-Town.

The Trojans Terrell Smith scored three touchdowns in the Trojans’ victory. Add the two he scored on the Trojans’ victory over the Pike County Bulldogs in their pre-season "Jamboree" and that gives the senior five touchdowns in his first two games.

After the game Friday night that ended at 11 p.m. I got in a car and headed for Boone, North Carolina to see the Troy State – Appalachian State game. Of course we stopped in Atlanta around 2 p.m. and got about five hours sleep and we headed for the mountains on Saturday morning.

What a beautiful drive from Spartanburg, South Carolina through the foothills of the Appalachian Mountain range to Boone, N.C. All you could see for miles around on both sides of the road were Christmas trees. From the Forest City to Marion, N.C., were the famous Spruce tree farms.

Boone’s elevation is around 3,000 feet and is nestled at the bottom of three large mountains. One of which is "Grandfather Mountain," one of the highest peaks east of the Mississippi. There are three ski resorts within five miles of Boone. "Sugar Mountain,"Beach Mountain" and Appalachian Mountain. In the winter, Boone, N.C., is a very busy place. The temperature at game time was 70 degrees but dropped during the game down to 63 degrees.

Appalachian State is a beautiful school with huge mountains surrounding the campus. the stadium was packed with more that 16,000 very confident fans. A couple of thousand more sat on the banks. Just looking at the Mountaineers you would think they were world beaters.

It was a battle of the nation’s No. 2 Division I-AA team against the nation’s No. 4 team. It reminded you of the playoffs. You asked yourself why are these two great football teams playing each other in regular season? Because there is a good chance they will both make it to the playoffs.

The Trojans looked like they were out to practice early. Brock Nutter hit speedy wide receiver Jonathan Carter for 50 yards on their first play, a running play netted six and then Demontray Carter goes 31 yards for the score. Eighty yards in three plays and TSU leads 7-0.

Of course Appalachian

fought back to tie and then go ahead. After the Trojans went back ahead 14-13 on a three yard Brock Nutter run the Mountaineers licked a 57 yard field goal on the last play of the half to go back ahead 16-14.

The second half was the Demontray Carter Show. The junior from Pensacola scored on a screen for 79 yards and a 68-yard bomb, all from Quarterback Brock Nutter to lead the Trojans to victory in the second half.

All Carter did for the night was to catch passes for 153 yards and rush for an additional 105 yards and scored three touchdowns. He was named the Southland Football League’s "Player of the Week" Monday.

the 34-28 victory has to be one of Coach Larry Blakeney’s most satisfying victories in his 10 years at Troy State. Now 2-0 on the season the Trojans brace for a big battle this week with rival Alabama State.

This game will have it all. A packed stadium, great pageantry and a good football game.

Alabama State will bring 5,000 fans by themselves so it’s up to us to more than double that and fill the stadium.

The last time these two teams met in Troy it was the largest crowd in Troy State history. Let’s do it again.

Get to the game early and find you a good place to tailgate with your family and friends. It’s going to be a great football weekend in Troy, Ala.

By the way, we drove back from Boone through the Blue-Ridge Parkway. It was simply spectacular. We drove up Mt. Mitchell, the highest point east of the Mississippi with 7,500 ft. elevation. We went more than 6,000 ft. on our drive, got off at Ashville, N.C., and headed home.

I’ve got a wonderful weekend trip for you. Drive to Ashville, go up the mountain on the Blue-Ridge Parkway and over to Boone, N.C. Spend the night in Boone and then take Highway 221 to Spartanburg and back home down U.S. Interstate 85.

It was a great weekend.

See you saturday at the game.

Go Trojans!