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Mother Nature helps CHMS earn first win

Mother Nature threw a temper tantrum, bringing an abrupt halt to Thursday night's Charles Henderson Middle School – Honeysuckle opening season football game at James A. Baker Field.

CHMS was up 14-8 on the visitors from Dothan as the rain began to fall, becoming increasingly heavier midway through the third quarter. After rushing the two teams into the middle school's gym, and with frequent lightning strikes in the immediate area, officials from both schools decided to stop the contest.

"We'll count it as a win," said Trojans' head coach Robin Snider.

Snider said he didn't think his team was 'mentally prepared' to play on Thursday.

"We didn't have a real good week of practice," he said. "I think the heat had something to do with that. All summer long, it hasn't been that hot, but now right here it just became hot and humid."

The same perhaps could be said about the Hornets. Honeysuckle tried to field a bouncing ball on the opening kickoff but coughed it up at their 35-yard line. Hard running by Jablonski Edwards and Darrell Reynolds pushed to the five. Reynolds punched through for the score and then lofted a throw into the corner of the end zone to Sam Jones for the two-point conversion.

"I was proud of the way our offensive line played," said Snider. "They made blocks and opened holes."

Honeysuckle countered with a 46 yard touchdown run by tailback Chris Bighems up the gut of the CHMS defense. Jermaine Potter's swing pass to Bighems tied to the game at 8-8 with still 3:54 left in the first quarter.

The Hornets were looking to capitalize on a Trojans' miscue to start the second quarter. A fumble gave Honeysuckle good field position at mid-field. Bighems burst off nine yards to move the ball to the CHMS 39. Potter back-peddled on second and one, throwing deep to a receiver, but the pass was broken up by Svante Davenport. Third and short. Another stop by the Trojans' down linemen.

CHMS's Aaron Simmons ended the Hornets' drive for good, catching Potter by the jersey and dropping him for a loss on fourth down.

The stand seemed to spark the Trojans' offense.

Reynolds bowling-balled his way for runs of 22 and 16 yards for the Trojans. Quarterback Tanner Hensley, who split time at quarterback with William Teal, pulled Honeysuckle off sides with a hard count on fourth and two, moving the ball to the 3-yard line. Still, it took Troy three downs for the go-ahead score. After a false start, Hensley found Jones on a fade route in the back of the end zone. The two-point conversion failed and CHMS led 14-8 with 51 seconds left before half.

The two teams exchanged possessions in the third quarter before the game was called.

With 32 eighth graders on the team, Snider said, 'ideally', he'd like to two-platoon an offense and defense.

"We've tried to establish two different squads, but we just need some people to step up," he said. "But the coaching staff have done a great job in working with these kids. Travis Sheppard, James Johnson, Paul Gilbert, Adam Helms…they make my job easier."