CHHS falls in ‘missed opportunities’

Published 11:12 pm Friday, September 11, 2015

CHHS quarterback Noah Lowery fires off a pass during the Trojans' game against Greenville on Friday.

CHHS quarterback Noah Lowery fires off a pass during the Trojans’ game against Greenville on Friday.

By Dan Smith

GREENVILLE – Charles Henderson High knew they would have to play four great quarters of football to beat a talented Greenville High team Friday night, and trailing 14-10 at halftime, it appeared the Trojans had seized control of the momentum and might just pull off the upset.

Costly turnovers and mistakes in the second half, however, allowed the Greenville Tigers to score three touchdowns in the first seven minutes of the third quarter, and CHHS was handed a 35-10 defeat before an overflow crowd on the road.

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“I don’t know if I could expect a better first half of football,” CHHS head coach Brad McCoy said following the game. “Seven of their points came off of one of our mistakes, and then there was the questionable call in the end zone that allowed them to replay third down, and we can’t leave it up to the officials when it is that tight and on the road. Like I told our team after the game, I think it was a tale of missed opportunities.

“We had chances to catch interceptions and we didn’t, we had chances to move the ball and we had penalties, and we had chances to hang onto the ball and we put it on the ground. The team that makes the most mistakes is usually going to lose, especially when you are facing a team like Greenville. I think that was the case tonight. We have just got to continue to improve to work through the region to give us a shot to get into the playoffs.”

The Tigers took a 7-0 lead on their second possession of the first quarter when quarterback Brandon Simmons connected with receiver Jonathan Powell for a 59-yard touchdown strike, and the extra point by Osvaldo Alvarez was good.

In the final minutes of the first quarter the Tigers attempted a third-down pass play which was batted around and appeared to be a CHHS interception in the end zone, but the officials ruled an inadvertent whistle had blown during the play, giving Greenville another shot at third and goal at the CHHS five-yard line.

Two plays later the Tigers scored a touchdown on a run up the middle and the extra point put Greenville up 14-0.

CHHS quarterback Noah Lowery lofted a touchdown strike from the Greenville 14 on third-and-six to Jalante Smith, and the extra point by Baylor Barnes cut the lead to 14-7.

The Trojans used excellent clock management in the final seconds of the second quarter, and after calling a time out, Barnes drilled a 40-yard field goal as the half ended to cut the Greenville lead to 14-10.

The third quarter would be all Greenville, and in a hurry, as the Tigers scored on their first possession when Dequarius Peterson ran the ball up the middle for a 12-yard TD carry and a 21-10 lead.

On the next CHHS possession Ja’quaun Lewis returned an interception 42 yards for a touchdown and a 28-10 advantage.

The next Greenville possession also resulted in a 9-yard TD run by Peterson – who rushed for 180 yards on the evening – and a 35-10 Tiger lead, which held out to be the final.

The Trojans return to Troy this upcoming Friday for another Class 5A region contest against Alabama Christian, a game McCoy knows is critical if his team has hopes of returning to the playoffs.

“We’ve got to try to eliminate distractions and get focused on the next big one,” McCoy said. “Alabama Christian is a region game, then we go on the road to Davidson on a Thursday night, then we have another region game on the road at Sidney Lanier on a Thursday night. We’ve got to try to correct the mistakes and get better.”

CHHS falls to 1-2 on the season while Greenville improves to 3-0.