Jaguars win defensive struggle, 12-0

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 4, 2001

Sports Editor

CAMDEN – Clearly, by halftime on Friday night Charles Henderson High School had No. 2 Wilcox-Central reeling.

In a battle between two of the top five defenses in Class 5A football, the Trojans were winning. At intermission neither team had scored and Troy was shutting down Wilcox’s potent double-wing attack, holding the Jaguars to just six yards of total offense and no first downs.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

That, however, was at halftime.

Shedrick Spencer and Eric Packer provided two third quarter touchdown runs for the Jaguars, as Wilcox (10-0) claimed the Region 2 championship with a 12-0 win over Charles Henderson (8-2).

"This is a tough loss," said CHHS head coach Hugh Fountain, "Because we had every opportunity to win the ball game. We told our kids at halftime that the first five minutes of the third quarter was going to be the turning point of the game. And those first five minutes they (Wilcox) just took it to us. We didn’t get the job done."

The Jaguars took the opening kick of the second half and clicked off three consecutive first downs to move inside Trojan territory. The CHHS defense stiffened, but on fourth and three an offsides call gave Wilcox a first down inside the 20-yard line. One play later, Spencer scored from 18-yards out with 8:12 left in the third.

After a three and out by the Trojans’ offense, the Jaguars were backed up on a holding call, but Packer bounced outside and streaked down the right sideline for a 40-yard touchdown run.

Spencer ended the game with 104 yards on 14 carries, while Packer added 99 yards on 21 attempts. The Jags finished with 201 yards of total offense, well below their state leading average.

"They (Wilcox) didn’t do anything different in the second half," said Fountain. "They just got after us a little bit more. Maybe we weren’t focused. I don’t know. I thought we were. We played super defense all night, except for those two drives, but on offense we couldn’t get anything going."

It was the seventh shutout of the season for Wilcox. The Trojans had just110 yards total and only five first downs. 56 of those yards came in the first half.

The Trojans’ best drive of the game came on their second possession. Starting at their own 17-yard line, CHHS used the running of Jarvis Woods and Duran Boykin to move the ball to the Jaguars’ 40. But the drive stalled on an incomplete pass by Pete VanHorn on third and seven.

And after that the Jaguars’ defense begin to sniff the Trojans’ out.

Even some trickery failed to gain any big yardage.

A reverse from Woods to Roderick Burden on third and long in the second was stopped in the backfield. Following Spencer’s score, a lateral pass from Burden to Clint Pugh on the ensuing kickoff moved the ball to just the Trojans’ 33. A Fred Jones’ halfback pass was broken up by the Jaguars’ secondary late in the fourth quarter.

"We couldn’t muster anything on offense," said Fountain. "But I still felt we had opportunities late in the game."

The Trojans forced

a Wilcox punt with 11 minutes left in the fourth. VanHorn hit Burden for a 25 yard gain on third and long to move the ball across the 50, but CHHS fumbled the ball on the next play. Wilcox recovered at the 45.

Jones recovered a loose ball for Troy with 1:24 left in the game, setting up the Trojans at the Jaguars’ 45-yard line. VanHorn was picked off by Wilcox with 1:08 to play.

The loss regulated CHHS to third in the region, which means a road trip in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs starting next week. The Trojans will travel to play McAdory.

"I don’t know anything about them (McAdory)," said Fountain. "I just know they are 9-1 and they have a lot of returning players from last year’s team. They play in a tough region with Briarwood Christian and Demopolis."