PCHS win in ’90 ends homefield frustration

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 10, 2001

Sports Editor

Some teams just have a hard time beating a rival at home.

Like LSU’s supposed jinx against Alabama in Death Valley, up until 1990 the Pike County Bulldogs had a hard time beating Charles Henderson within the friendly confines of Brundidge’s Bulldogs’ Stadium.

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In 1990, the Bulldogs were seeking their third straight Class 4A state championship. Wayne Grant’s team had started the season an uncharacteristic 0-3, before winning four straight going into the Oct. 26 match-up against the Trojans.

Charles Henderson looked to be on the verge of finally earning a winning season for the first time in six years. Jay Jefcoat, who had led the Trojans to a perfect 13-0 record and state title in 1980, had returned to coach Charles Henderson in the offseason. CHHS had opened with a victory over Russell County that year, finally breaking into the win column after going winless in 1989. Jefcoat’s Trojans held an identical record to Pike County at 4-3.

But it was Pike County that was able to turn two crucial Trojans’ turnovers into touchdowns, celebrating a 20-7 win at home, instead of on the usual short bus ride from Troy.

Pike County’s Bruce Thomas broke open a scoreless game when he grabbed a Torino Thomas fumble and raced 25-yards for the touchdown. Jason Ming added the PAT and the Bulldogs led 7-0 with 1:42 left in the game.

Doug Holland followed Thomas’s score by picking off an errant CHHS pass at Troy’s own 26-yard line. A few plays later, Robert Holland ran 21-yards for the touchdown to put the Bulldogs up 14-0 before the half.

With 10:22 left in the third, Doug Holland went 56-yards for another Bulldogs score.

Troy answered with a nine-play, 75-yard drive that culminated in a Dion Rouse touchdown for the Trojans’ first points of the game. In CHHS’s final drive of the game, Rouse carried 13 times in 16 plays and converted three fourth down attempts, before PCHS’s Leonard Phillips dropped the game’s leading rusher on fourth and two.

Rouse finished with 134 yards on 34 carries for CHHS to lead all rushers.

Pike County threw four different running backs at Charles Henderson with all four finding success. Jimmy Wright carried six times for 63 yards, Doug Holland added 62 yards on eight carries, Robert Holland had 48 yards on 11 carries and Ming, playing fullback carried the ball five times for 48 yards as well.

Bulldogs’ running backs averaged seven yards a carry against the Trojans.

The loss to Brundidge would send CHHS on the downward spiral for the rest of the season. The Trojans finished 1990 with a 4-6 record, their seventh losing season in a row.

Pike County fielded yet another winning team, concluding the year at 8-5, but were denied a third straight title by T.R. Miller in a 14-12 third round contest.