Turnovers cost Trojans in region showdown

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 3, 2006

GREENVILLE - A pair of Charles Henderson High School fumbles proved to be the Trojans' undoing on Friday night as region rival Greenville High School converted the miscues into 14 points en route to a 24-14 win.

The Tigers (8-1, 6-1 Class 5A, Region 2) struck first when quarterback Casey Weston, who was once a ball boy at Charles Henderson, barreled his way into the endzone from two yards out to cap a 10-play, 70-yard drive.

Weston added the PAT to give Greenville a 7-0 lead with 9:51 remaining in the second quarter.

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On the ensuing drive, the Trojans (5-4, 4-3 Class 5A, Region 2) committed the first of their three turnovers on the night when the Tigers forced and recovered a Charles Henderson fumble on the Greenville 31-yard line.

On the first play from scrimmage following the turnover, Weston connected with wide receiver Lynn Lewis for a 56-yard gain.

After the Tigers were flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, running back Brandon Cheatham rumbled 28 yards for Greenville's second score of the night.

Weston's extra point attempt sailed wide giving the Tigers a 13-0 lead with 7:53 remaining in the second quarter.

Two plays later, the Trojans put the ball on the ground for the second time and once again the Tigers pounced on the loose ball setting up a first-and-10 at the Charles Henderson 18-yard line.

From there it took the Tigers four plays to punch the ball into the endzone. Again it was Weston doing the honors this time from five yards out.

The Tigers pulled off a successful two-point conversion to take a 21-0 lead with 5:09 remaining in the game's first half.

On the ensuing drive, Charles Henderson senior quarterback Jevoris Carter completed three passes - two to junior wide receiver Svante Davenport and one to freshman wide receiver Jawara White - for 38 yards, while rushing for 28 yards to guide the Trojans to their first score of the night.

Carter capped the five-play drive with a 1-yard touchdown run.

Sophomore Dustin Smith added the PAT to cut the Greenville lead to 21-7 with 3:34 remaining in the first half.

The Tigers closed out the first-half scoring when Weston booted a 37-yard field goal with six ticks remaining in the second quarter to give Greenville a 24-7 lead at the halftime intermission.

Following the halftime break, Greenville looked to be picking up where it left off in the first half when Weston led the Tigers down to the Charles Henderson 11-yard line on just four plays.

On third-and-goal, Weston tried to connect with Lewis, but the ball glanced off the Greenville wide receiver's hands and Davenport snagged the tip ball five yards deep in the endzone snuffing out the Tiger drive.

Davenport then returned the interception to the Charles Henderson 34-yard line setting up the Trojans' second scoring drive of the night.

After the Trojans managed just eight yards on their first three plays of the drive, junior Brent Poole trotted out onto the field seemingly to punt the ball away to the Tigers.

Then as the play clock ticked down, Poole sprinted toward the line of scrimmage to take his place at quarterback. Poole's sudden shift caught the defense off guard and the Tigers jumped off sides giving Charles Henderson new life.

Three plays later, Carter broke free from the Tiger defense and scampered 50 yards for his second touchdown of the night.

Smith added the PAT and the Trojans trailed Greenville 24-14 with 5:34 remaining in the third quarter.

After forcing a Greenville punt on the ensuing drive, the Trojans once again threatened to put the ball into the endzone after marching down to the Greenville 14-yard line, but Carter's pass intended for White was intercepted by Lewis in the endzone with 26 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

The interception ended the last serious Charles Henderson threat as the Tigers held on for the win.

With the win, Greenville locked up home field for the first round of the playoffs, while guaranteeing Charles Henderson will be on the road for its first-round game. Greenville's win also snapped a four-game losing streak to the Trojans.

Leading up to the showdown between the Tigers and the Trojans, Greenville head coach and former Charles Henderson assistant coach Bryant Vincent motivated his team by telling them the people in Troy had a lack of respect for Greenville program.

Following the game, Vincent was preaching a different message.

&#8220They respect us now,” Vincent said. &#8220We bow down to no one.”

The Trojans will wrap up their regular-season slate on Friday when they hit the road to take on Stanhope-Elmore High School.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.