Downing’s 220 yards, 4 TDs carries Charles Henderson to region victory

Published 12:08 am Saturday, October 6, 2012

Charles Henderson head coach Mike Dean has been looking for his offense to establish a better running game. Friday night the Trojans did just that.

Senior running back Courtney Downing rushed for 220 yards and four touchdowns in Charles Henderson’s 36-7 defeat of region-foe St. James.

“Execution and scoring in the redzone,” Downing said. “It was difficult adjusting to the new offense at first, but now we’re starting to click and get it together.”

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The Trojans (4-2, 2-2 Class 4A Region 2) moved a step closer to clinching a playoff berth with the victory. In classic Mike Dean fashion, however, it’s one game at a time.

“If you start looking at scenarios and look too far ahead, you’re killing yourself,” Dean said. “All we can control is today. If you start looking down the road, you’re going to slip up and lose a ballgame.”

Charles Henderson dominated the game from the opening bell. After forcing St. James into a three-and-out, Downing’s first carry went for 35 yards. On the senior’s fifth consecutive rush, he scored from 4 yards out to give the Trojans the early 7-0 lead.

Downing would open the next Charles Henderson drive with a 17-yard gain. After an Austin Ingram completion to Kenyatte Jones, Downing found the end zone again on a 47-yard scamper with two minutes left in the opening quarter.

Likely, the Trojans most impressive drive of the game, however, came with 2:24 remaining in the half. Charles Henderson took over after a St. James punt at its own 34. Following an 11-yard run by John Johnson, Ingram connected on 4 of 4 passes capped by a 30-yard scoring strike to Joshua Noel, who slipped behind the secondary undetected.

Noel finished with 59 yards receiving on four receptions. Ingram was 8-for-15 for 136 yards with one interception.

The Charles Henderson defense played as complete a game as they have all season allowing less than 200 yards of total offense. St. James (4-2, 3-1) scored its lone touchdown with 3:57 left in the contest.

“We worked on boot drills all week to keep them contained,” linebacker Joey Denison said. “We could have done a better job tackling, but we’re gettting better every week.”

Dean echoed Denison’s thoughts.

“I’m always going to find something wrong, but that’s part of coaching,” Dean said. “I’m proud of our kids. The seniors are learning to lead, the juniors are becoming seniors. Our goal is to win each day. We’re still learning how to practice which equals we’re still learning how to play 48 minutes.”

Charles Henderson hosts its third consecutive game next week as Headland comes to town. The Rams are now 1-5 on the season after they fell to Beauregard Friday night.