Upset win: Trojans knock off rival Carroll 17-7

Published 12:05 am Saturday, October 13, 2018

If it is possible that a team can turn a season around when it seemed to be spiraling in the wrong direction with no sign of recovering, then Charles Henderson High did just that when they upset their rival Carroll High of Ozark, 17-7 Friday night in Troy’s Veterans Memorial Stadium.

The Eagles came into Friday’s contest with a 4-1 record and ranked No. 7 in the state in Class 5A, while CHHS limped in at 1-4 overall, but played their best game of the year by far. CHHS never trailed and Carroll never threatened, as junior quarterback Pooka Jones and an inspired CHHS defense set the tone.

“It was a good win,” said CHHS head coach Brad McCoy. “We’ve had nothing but adversity for the last few weeks for these kids and these seniors and our football team, and they kept coming to practice each and every day. It’s good for them. I’m very proud for them and it’s nice to get a win.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Jones, a junior quarterback, completed nine of his first ten pass attempts en route to throwing for 186 yards and one touchdown, completing 15 of 24, while rushing for 29 more yards. Jones threw to five different receivers on the night, with Robert Grady catching five for 67 yards, Jackson Giles three for 35 and Jonathan Carter three for 30 yards.

The defense came into the game allowing an average of 40 points per game this season, but allowed only one touchdown as the Eagles got inside the CHHS 20 yard line only one time on the night.

The Trojans received the opening kickoff and went 48 yards in three plays with Jones hitting Jonathan Carter for a 20-yard gain and then Carter busted a 22-yard run for the touchdown. Caleb Guice kicked the extra point and CHHS led 7-0 with 10:52 to play in the first quarter.

Jones later hit Sean McKinney for a 19-yard touchdown reception and a 14-0 lead with 0:18 to go in the first.

Carroll cut the lead to 14-7 in the third quarter when Jonathan Fells scored on a 6-yard carry, and Charles Irving kicked the extra point.

Guice, who is also a sophomore defensive tackle, launched a 32-yard field goal that had more yards to spare for a 17-7 lead with 8:17 to go in the game, which held up to be the final.

What made the win extra surprising for CHHS was the unusual week. The Trojans had Fall Break on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and were out Thursday due to the severe weather. Coach McCoy believed that break may have been what the Trojans needed.

“We had a short week, and I don’t know if maybe it was the time away from each other that got these guys ready and maybe they kind of reflected on our season, but I tell you what, they laid it on the line and played with their heart tonight,” said McCoy. “This is region play for the next two weeks. We knew we had to win two out of three just to make it to the playoffs, now we want to win all four. Of course we want to do that every week. We were just trying to put one game, one week, really one day at a time, and not to look ahead at anything. So now Tallassee has got to be our main focus for us to be ready to beat Tallassee.”

CHHS is on the road next Friday for their last regular-season road trip, another Class 5A, Region 2 matchup with Tallassee, who defeated Rehobeth 39-14 Friday in region play and is now 5-2 overall and 3-1 in Region 2. CHHS improves to 2-4 and 2-2 in the region.

Following the Tallassee contest, CHHS hosts Valley in their final Region 2 contest and then will host Baldwin County a week later in a non-region game.