CHHS preps for challenge in St. Paul’s

Published 2:08 pm Wednesday, November 9, 2011

On the coat tail of running backs Courtney Downing and Stanley Crawford, the Charles Henderson High School Trojans knocked off Demopolis on the road in the first round of the state playoffs, 21-24, in overtime.

The duo rushed for a combined 213 yards and, like they’ve done all season, provided the pivotal spark needed to carry the Trojans to victory.

The loss handed Demopolis their earliest exit from the postseason since 2007.

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Charles Henderson will need a bit more than a spark Friday night, they may need a raging inferno if they plan on upsetting their second round opponent.

St. Paul’s comes to Troy 10-1 and with a history of ending Trojan playoff runs.

The Saints have defeated Charles Henderson in all three meetings between the schools (all three coming in the playoffs) by a combined score of 131-25.

St. Paul’s eliminated the Trojans from last year’s first round, 42-14.

While head coach Hugh Fountain has had trouble picking up a win against the Saints while with Charles Henderson, in his time at W.S. Neal in Brewton his record was a little better. Fountain was 3-3 versus St. Paul’s during his seven year tenure with the Eagles.

It is a fact the Trojans haven’t had much success against the Saints but if Charles Henderson can hold on to and control the football, they have the team to pull the upset.

This will be the deepest into the playoffs the two team have met since they squared off in the third round in 2007. That was also the year St. Paul’s won their only football state championship.

St. Paul’s offense has had little trouble against opposing defenses this season, averaging 37.2 points per game while the Saints defense is only allowing 12 per contest.

“It’s easy to see why they score so many points,” Fountain said. “They have a lot of great weapons.”

On Oct. 7, St. Paul’s set a school record for margin of victory when they defeated Citronelle, 57-0.

“We had a tough test last week because it was such a unique offense,” Fountain said. “This week is another challenge because the quality of athletes they have is unique.”

The Trojans defense is athletic enough to slow down the Saints offense. It seems the game will come down to what has been Charles Henderson Achilles Heel all season, which team makes the fewest mistakes.

Kickoff from Veterans Memorial Stadium is set for 7 p.m. Friday.