CHHS travels to face pass-happy Monroe Tigers

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 29, 2000

Sports Editor

After a 20-18 loss last week to Hillcrest-Evergreen, the Charles Henderson Trojans (2-1) are looking for their first regional victory tonight on the road against Monroe County (0-4).

The Trojans find themselves in a situation similar to what

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the Jaguars faced last week – having to win a game in order to stay in the hunt for the regional title.

The Tigers, meanwhile, are still looking for their first win of the year and dropped their first region game to Carroll High last Friday night.

And although Halloween is still more then a month away, CHHS Head Coach Hugh Fountain sees the match-up tonight as a "scary" one.

"Monroe County has a new offense this season and they like to pass," he said. "They spread the field and drop back into the shotgun and end up throwing the ball maybe 40 to 60 times a game."

Fountain said the Tigers’ offense is similar to the style of play run by Hal Mumme at the University of Kentucky.

"The key for this game is going to be how are defense comes out and plays," he said. "We can’t let their offense get on track in the first half. It all depends on how well we rush the passer."

The Trojans’ defense will be facing exactly the opposite of what they faced last week. Hillcrest used a power, smash-mouth, running attack to wear down Charles Henderson in the second half.

Jaguars’ quarterback Ronald Grace dropped back to pass just two times during the entire game.

"Our defense will be seeing something different this week," Fountain said. "We’ll have to use a nickel package (five defensive backs) sometimes to help out in pass coverage."

Fountain points to three reasons he feels the Trojans lost last Friday night to the Jaguars.

One: the play of Charles Henderson’s special teams.

"I was disappointed at how our special teams played," he said. "In the first half they (Hillcrest) recovered that onside kick on us and then that bobbled snap on the PAT attempt after we scored our first touchdown."

Two: CHHS’s offensive effort in the first quarter.

Or lack thereof.

"We just came in the game too flat on offense to help our defense out in the first half," Fountain said.

Three: Hillcrest’s last offensive possession of the game. The Jaguars used a 21 play drive that started at their own 30-yard line to eat up almost the entire fourth quarter. When the Trojans took over, with their backs against the goaline, there were 23 seconds left in the game.

"Physically they just whipped our defense," Fountain said. "I was surprised at how poorly we played on their last drive."

Fountain feels the next three weeks will determine whether or not his team makes it to the postseason. After Monroe County, the Trojans entertain Southside-Selma, travel to Greenville and host Carroll. All three games are in the region.

"If we can win these four straight, then we’ll be assured a spot in the playoffs," he said. "And we’re not out of the hunt for the regional championship yet with Wilcox-Central coming to play us in the last game of the year."

Terrence Kelly, who suffered a sprained knee last week, is questionable for tonight’s game. Kelly threw a 34 yard touchdown pass to Will Jones in the final seconds of the fist half to pull the Trojans within two points of Hillcrest, 14-12.

"Terrence has practiced some this week, but more then likely he will not play unless we really need him," Fountain said.