CHHS suffers first loss of the season

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 14, 2001

Sports Writer

What was billed as a defensive struggle turned out to be exactly that when Greenville and Charles Henderson High School hooked up in a Class 5-A Region 2 showdown Friday night.

The Trojans defense appeared to be on its way to another solid performance, holding the Tigers to 33 total yards with under a minute to go in the half and a 6-0 lead. But on third-and-12 deep in its own territory, Greenville quarterback Carlos Carter found Tyrone Davidson, who leaped over two CHHS defenders, kept his balance and sprinted down the sidelines, 67 yards to tie the game with :21 left.

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William Phillips’ extra point gave the Tigers a 7-6 halftime lead and Greenville dominated from there as the defense lead the way in the second half in a 19-13 upset over the Trojans at Memorial Stadium.

The Tiger defense forced three turnovers in the second half, including a 33-yard interception return for a touchdown by junior Fred Herbert on the Trojans second play from scrimmage of the second half for a 19-6 lead. CHHS head coach said the touchdown before the half and the three turnovers were too much to overcome.

"I give them(Greenville) all the credit in the world, they did what they had to do to win the ballgame, but we made critical mistakes that cost us the ballgame. And really tonight, our youth showed, we made a lot of young mistakes, I mean, we’re on the goaline and don’t score, we throw an interception where we’re just trying to make something happen, the first interception, which was the killer and then we gave up two big plays to them throwing the football."

"You know, really just young mistakes," Fountain continued. "We just made those mistakes and that’s really what cost us the ballgame when you get down to it, really that is what cost us the game."

The Trojans moved the ball effectively for much of the first half, but Duran Boykins’ 11-yard touchdown run early in the first quarter was the only reward. CHHS drove inside the Tiger 30 twice, including a drive inside the five. But the Tigers defense stiffened, turning away the Trojans three times inside the five and stopping Randall Maddox on fourth and goal from the one and dodging another bullet when Josh Post’s 48-yard field goal was wide right, stalling another Trojan drive.

"The truth of the matter is, our redzone offense has not been that good the last two or three ballgames," Fountain said. "We talked about it, we worked on it some in practice. Obviously we haven’t done a good job, but we were right down there on the door tonight. It really should have been 21-0 at halftime."

"We just didn’t execute, whether its because we’re young or whatever, no excuses this late in the season. We can be young or whatever, but we’ve played seven ballgames and we should have been able to get the job done and we just didn’t."

The Tigers carried the momentum from its score before halftime into its opening possesion of the second half. On third-and-12, Carter connected with Davidson again, ironically on the exact same play that ended the half, but this time Davidson was caught from behind, but not before a 61-yard gain and a first down. The big plays continued for the Tigers, as Carter found a wide-open Jimmy Oliver over the middle on third-and-23 and Oliver broke two tackles on his way to the endzone as Greenville opened up a 13-6 lead.

The Trojan offense continued to struggle after Herbert’s interception. CHHS gained two yards on its next three plays, but two consecutive offsides penalties gave the Trojans a first down and new life at its own 43. CHHS seized the opportunity behind Rod Burden, who carried the ball five times for 33 yards after the penalties, including a two-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to 19-13 with the extra point. But the Trojans offense disappeared the rest of the half, gaining 23 yards the rest of the way.

"Like I told the kids, there’s always certain times in a game where you got the sense of urgency and I think our kids understood that because even when we scored after we drew them offsides on that punt, we knew we had to score and we did. There’s always five or six plays in a ballgame that mean the whole ballgame to you and in this ballgame, on those five or six plays, we lost all of them when you get down to it."

The loss dropped the Trojans to 6-1 overall and 3-1 in the Region while the Tigers moved to 4-3 and 3-0 in the Region. CHHS hits the road for the final three games of the regular-season and Fountain hoped a win would give them momentum heading into the road trip, but he thinks his team will bounce back in a positive way.

"That’s what we thought we needed was a win. But I think the best wasy to put it is this game will tell us about our team. I think that they will bounce back, they realize what’s at stake here. We can’t come out flat next week against Carroll, it’s imperative that we play up to our capabilities."