Ingram sets Charles Henderson single-season passing mark

Published 10:22 pm Monday, October 29, 2012

Coming into the 2012 season, Charles Henderson head coach Mike Dean didn’t quite know what to expect from his offense led by sophomore quarterback Austin Ingram. With one game remaining in the regular season, it is relatively clear what Ingram has meant to the Trojans. The 5’10”, first-year starter broke the Charles Henderson single-season passing record with 173 yards against Bullock County last week.

“I’m really honored, but I never really thought about it coming into the season,” Ingram said. “As long as we’re winning games, that’s all that matters.”

Though humbled Ingram said he was aware of the record after the game, but didn’t think much of it. He was just happy the 7-2 Trojans got their sixth consecutive victory.

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“Through team goals come individual goals,” said Dean. “What he’s doing as a sophomore is remarkable. Austin is showing a lot of senior characteristics.”

With his 1,575 yards this season, Ingram surpassed the previous single-season mark set by Brent Poole (1,552) in 2007.

While Ingram said he doesn’t have a favorite receiver, he says he feels most comfortable throwing the ball into the post.

“It’s my No. 1 read and we have guys that can run it well,” he said. “We have a couple of guys that I know are going to be open when we run that route.”

Ingram laughingly said that he tries to distribute the ball evenly to keep his receivers smiling.

The sophomore has lit up defenses this season for 17 touchdown passes and has thrown for over 200 yards three times including a season-high of 265 on Sept. 9 against region-leading and fifth-ranked Beauregard, a vast contrast from the style of play the Trojans are accustomed to.

Though Ingram has put up big numbers this season, Dean insists that the offensive philosophy remains run-first.

“We’ve got to run the football to be successful,” he said. “Winning first down is huge. If we don’t’ win first down, that puts us in a hole on second and third down.”

The Trojans have just the guy to hand it to on first down. Running back Courtney Downing broke the Charles Henderson single-season rushing record last year with 1,603 yards trumping Cencade Pennington’s mark of 1,525 set in 1994.

Ingram has two more years to best Jared Loftin’s career passing record set from 2002-05 of 3,032 yards, but none of that matters to Ingram as long as the team continues its winning ways.

“As long as we win I’m happy,” he said. “It really doesn’t matter if we don’t win.”

Charles Henderson rounds out its regular season schedule at home against Eufaula Friday night. The Trojans will then travel to No. 2 Thomasville for the first round of the AHSAA Class 4A playoffs.