Charles Henderson knocks off Thomasville, will host in 2nd round

Published 12:52 am Saturday, November 10, 2012

Charles Henderson's Austin Ingram (9) delivers a pass against Thomasville. (Photo/Arthur McLean)

Charles Henderson head coach Mike Dean has preached toughness and responsibility all season, on Friday his team played tough, responsible football as they defeated Thomasville 39-22 in the first round of the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 4A playoffs.

“I couldn’t be more proud of this team,” Dean said. “They played with heart, intensity and did what they needed to do to win a football game.”

The Trojans jumped on Thomasville early, withstood a second half comeback, then finished off the Tigers late to earn the victory.

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Charles Henderson broke a 15-15 tie with 4:03 remaining in the third quarter when Courtney Downing scored his third touchdown of the game from three yards out to give the Trojans a 22-15 advantage.

The Trojans extended the lead on one of the strangest plays in high school football. Robert Salmon’s field goal attempt with 10:22 left in the game hit a teammate, but never crossed the line of scrimmage. Tevin Bean scoped up the loose ball in space and scored from 10 yards away.

“I’m still confused. I don’t know exactly what happened either,” Dean said of the play. “I’ll have to go back an look at the film, but we stayed alert and made a positive play out of a negative play.”

Salmon would go on to make a 24-yard field goal later in the game and Brandon Gosha would return an interception 13 yards for a touchdown to put the game out of reach.

Downing scored the game’s first two touchdowns to give Charles Henderson a 15-0 lead. The Trojans finished with 216 yards rushing and 356 yards of total offense.

Quarterback Austin Ingram was 10-for-15 passing for 140 yards.

Dean said the team played to the standards the coaches had set for them.

“We faced adversity tonight an didn’t back down,” Dean said. “It’s how we won, not that we won.”

Due to the Alabama Independent School Association state championship triple-header on Nov. 16, Charles Henderson will host Central of Clay County in the second round on a Thursday night at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Clay defeated Jemison in Friday 48-18.