Trojans prepare for region battle with Eufaula
The Charles Henderson Trojans have a lot to be excited about right now.
With the win over Carroll last week, the team matched its win total from a season ago and also clinched its first playoff berth since 2008.
But all the Trojans care about is the next game, and not the one coming up in two weeks, according to head coach Hugh Fountain.
“The guys are proud to be going to the playoffs, but I think the biggest thing is how the team is focusing on what’s next for us.
“They want to get better, they want to keep improving so they can be ready for what comes in the playoffs. This week is going to be a good test of where we are and where we need to get better.”
Before the Trojans can begin thinking about fulfilling their postseason goals, the team has one more region team to take on. And as the scheduled turned out, it was saving the best for last.
Out of the eight teams in 5A Region 2, only one stands undefeated, but CHHS will be looking to change all of that when it travels to Eufaula today to take on the Tigers.
“This is not a game that is going to change our place in the standings,” Fountain said.
“Friday’s game is about pride for our team. Eufaula always has a strong team, year in and year out. They are the best team in the region right now. We are going to have to be physical, we are going to have to limit our turnovers. This is a game against some of the upper competition and we are going to see how we do against that kind of opponent.”
After suffering an opening season loss to Abbeville at home, Eufaula has bounced back to a 6-2 record, with its only other loss coming against out of region foe, Smiths Station. In the past six meetings between the two teams, the Trojans have bested the Tigers more times than not, as CHHS has won four games during that stretch.
Last season, the Trojan won 14-7 in a defensive battle.
Two of the last three visits to Eufaula, CHHS has returned home with a win, both of which were by shutout, as the team won 20-0 in 2004 and 10-0 in 2008.
But the past is of no concern to Fountain.
“I have told the guys a lot this week that those games don’t matter – and they don’t,” he said.
“There have been a lot of games played between these two teams, but this is the 2010 Charles Henderson team, and each team carries its own weight. Obviously, it would be huge for this team to make it four-straight wins over a quality program like Eufaula. It would be big for the school and the program but this team knows what its up against and they know they have to be ready for a big battle in Eufaula.”
As far as what the Trojans have been preparing for defensively, the Tiger offensive attack is highlighted by what it has been able to do on the ground. The leading rusher for Eufaula is also the team’s leading passer, as Demonte Jett has accumulated over 1,000 yard of total offense this season, thanks to his 717 on the ground and 348 through the air.
Jett also has 12 total touchdowns, nine of which have been rushing.
Maurice Crews is the second leading rusher for the Tigers with 549 yards and seven touchdowns while Tyreece Mayo has been Jett’s main target, as the receiver currently has 13 catches for 220 yards and three touchdowns.
Defensively, Ramon Lewis and Xavier Woodson lead the team in tackles with 66 and 61, respectively. Woodson also leads the team with five sacks.
“Eufaula can do a lot of good things in a lot of different places on the football field,” Fountain said.
“They can run the ball just about as well as anyone we have seen this season, we are going to have to play fundamental defense. But I think one of the biggest keys will be to make sure their offense doesn’t get the ball a lot. That’s going to mean that our offense has to do a good job of controlling the ball and the clock, scoring points early and not turning over the football.”