Published 10:31 pm Thursday, November 28, 2013

Road to Tuscaloosa rolls through Troy Friday night in AHSAA playoffs

UMS-Wright was in this position just about 365 days ago. Charles Henderson hasn’t been here in over 30 years.

The Bulldogs cruised past Dora in the semifinals en route a 13-2 regular season and the 4A state title.

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The Trojans haven’t been this deep in the playoffs since winning a state title of their own in 1980, but want to change that in 2013.

“It’s down to the best of the best now,” said Charles Henderson head coach Mike Dean. “UMS has been here before and they know what it takes to get it done. We have to remember to play our game, and not get caught up in the moment.”

UMS-Wright comes in to the match up at 11-2, and has won 22 straight games against 4A opponents.

The Trojans roll in to the semifinals as winners of all 13 games played so far, and finished the season as the No. 1 ranked team in the Alabama Sports Writers Association poll.

UMS-Wright stayed atop the ASWA rankings for six weeks during the regular season.

Dean said the Bulldogs are a team that believes in everything head coach Terry Curtis says.

“They don’t always have the best athletes, but they will never quit,” said Dean. “They get down in a game, but they will keep coming and coming and coming, until you look up and they are right back in the ball game. Terry is an old-school football coach. They want to run the football and we will have to be ready to play really good defensively on Friday.”

UMS is lead by running back Troy Dixon. Dixon has rolled up over 1,400 yards on the ground and scored 20 touchdowns in the 2013 season.

In the air, Bulldog QB Gunner Roach has been impressive, throwing for over 2,000 yards.

Charles Henderson and UMS-Wright have never met on the football field before, but have squared off on the soccer pitch and baseball diamond in years past.

“We want to be an elite program, and to do that you have to beat the best,” said Dean. “UMS is the best right now.”

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Troy.