Charles Henderson comes up short at Eufaula

Published 3:00 am Saturday, October 8, 2016

Messenger Photo/Dan Smith CHHS running back Jared Wilson picks up yards against Eufaula Friday night. The Trojans fell to the Tigers 31-22.

Messenger Photo/Dan Smith
CHHS running back Jared Wilson picks up yards against Eufaula Friday night. The Trojans fell to the Tigers 31-22.

EUFAULA – A late fourth-quarter drive came up short for the Charles Henderson High Trojans, and the Tigers of Eufaula High added a touchdown in the final two minutes to claim a 31-22 win over CHHS Friday night in Eufaula’s Tiger Stadium.

The Trojans were driving late in the game, trailing 24-22 and at the Eufaula 20 with just over three minutes to play, but a bad snap sent the offense backwards and the next play resulted in an interception to end the drive.

Two plays later Tiger senior running back Thomas Jackson broke a 36-yard touchdown run, and Eufaula put the game away 31-22.

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With the loss, the Trojans, now 4-3 on the year and 2-2 Class 5A, Region 2 competition, will hope to win their final two region contests to guarantee a playoff berth. Eufaula improved to 5-2 and 3-1 in region play.

The Trojans and Tigers battled back and forth the entire contest, and not until the last few minutes was the game decided. CHHS Head Coach Brad McCoy was proud of his men, and is confident their playoff chances are very achievable.

“I’m extremely proud of our players,” said McCoy. “Our players fought every second of this football game. I think they prepared during the week to win it, and I think we made plays. I really take ownership of some things that happened there in the end, whether it be play calling, clock management, whatever. That’s something we will have to fix from an X’s and O’s standpoint, but I tell you what, our guys played their hearts out tonight.”

Eufaula jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead in the first quarter when senior placekicker Graham Haney connected on a 41-yard field goal and on the next Tiger possession senior running back Jordan Glenn took it in from 1-yard out to go up 10-0 with 7:02 remaining in the first quarter.

The Trojans got on the board to open the second quarter when sophomore quarterback D.Q. Toney hit Jabronski Williams for a 17-yard touchdown, and Cameron Bush nailed the point after to cut the lead to 10-7 with 9:46 remaining in the first half.

CHHS scored with 10 seconds remaining in the first half on a TD pass from Toney to Josh Roberts, but the extra point was blocked for the 13-10 CHHS lead.

Eufaula received the kickoff and returned it to the CHHS 31 with only 1 second remaining in the half, and that was all quarterback Steven Gover needed as he completed a pass to Jorvious Green as time expired and the Tigers led 17-13 at the half.

Senior running back JuJuan Whigham broke a 73-yard TD run on the first possession for Eufaula in the second half for a 24-13 lead, but the Trojans fought back to score on a 33-yard Bush field goal with 6:08 to play in the third, and a 24-16 Eufaula lead.

The Trojans scored again on their next possession to open the fourth quarter, with Williams taking it in from 3-yards out and a 24-22 Eufaula lead with 10:48 remaining in the game.

Each team swapped possessions, but Eufaula fumbled and Kobe Griffin recovered for CHHS at the Henderson 25 with 6:50 remaining in the game.

Toney moved the Trojans to the Eufaula 20 for a first down with less than four minutes remaining in the game and down 24-22, but a high snap was over the head of the quarterback and Toney recovered for a 10-yard loss, and on the next play Toney was picked off by Eufaula’s Joseph Tolbert, who returned it 52 yards to the CHHS 38.

Jackson scored from 36 yards out two plays later for the 31-22 Eufaula lead, which they held on for the final score.

Whigham was the leading rusher for the Tigers with 119 yards on 11 carries and one TD, while Jackson picked up 90 yards and a TD.

Jared Wilson led CHHS in rushing with 82 yards on 15 carries, while Williams picked up 47 yards on the ground.

Toney was 10-for-21 passing for two TD’s.

The Trojans have two region games remaining with Headland coming to Troy next Friday night, and CHHS going to Rehobeth the next week.

McCoy is confident his team will win out in region play for a playoff spot.

“We have Rehobeth at home next week and then Headland on the road. If we win both we will end up No. 3 in the region, and that puts us traveling in the first round.”