Panthers visit Memorial Stadium tonight

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 6, 2000

Sports Editor

With a 1-1 record in regional play coming into tonight’s homecoming match-up with Southside-Selma (0-5), the Charles Henderson Trojans (3-1) are looking to take one more step toward a playoff berth.

CHHS head coach Hugh Fountain said this three game stretch – starting with Monroe County last week and ending at Greenville next Friday night – would be critical in determining his team’s playoff hopes.

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With the Trojans beating Monroe County on Friday night 47-0, consider the first step completed.

Now comes the Panthers and despite their record, Fountain said he has reason to be concerned about the game tonight.

Two reasons to be exact.

Starting with quarterback Antwonne Jefferson and ending with tailback Gerimyer Hall.

"He’s (Jefferson) an extremely athletic and mobile quarterback," Fountain said. "He likes to throw the ball deep. And the running back (Hall) is a hard, hard runner."

Two of the Panthers losses have come to 6A schools, Smiths Station and Selma. Against Smiths Station, Jefferson threw for over 300 yards. Hall has already produced a 175-yard effort this season on the ground.

Unlike Monroe County, which showed the Trojans’ defense a spread formation for most of the game, Fountain said Southside likes to "mix things up."

"Against Carroll last week they showed some double-wingback set," he said. "So that’s a concern for us going into the game."

Even though it’s homecoming this week, Fountain said he still tries to keep his players focused on the football game.

"We tell our players that all the festivities during the week lead up to Friday night," he said. "Building the floats and being in the parade is nice, but the bottom line is you still have a football game to win."

It should be a special homecoming for one Trojan in particular.

Senior quarterback Kevin Stephens needs just one more yard to break the record for most yards passed for in a career. Stephens has passed for 1,509 yards since starting for the Trojans in 1998.

"I’m very proud of Kevin," said Fountain. "Any recognition that he gets, he deserves it. He’s been with us for four years and has never complained about anything. A kid like that, you’ve got to respect."

Last week Roderick Burden picked off two interceptions and returned them both for touchdowns against Monroe County.

Watching the freshman cornerback these past few weeks, many CHHS fans felt that it was only matter of time before Burden did just that.

"The thing about Roderick is he’s a good open field runner and he has good hands," said Fountain.