Thrilling finish: Trojans knock off Tallassee in overtime to earn second-straight win

Published 11:19 pm Friday, October 19, 2018

TALLASSEE – Charles Henderson High overcame a two-touchdown halftime deficit Friday night to force the Tallassee Tigers into overtime, with junior quarterback Pooka Jones finding senior Chance Pollard in the end zone for a touchdown and eventually a remarkable 34-28 win in historic J.E. “Hot” O’Brien Stadium.

Friday’s victory was the second in as many weeks for the Trojans over a Class 5A Top 10 ranked team, last week defeating seventh-ranked Carroll of Ozark, and then pulled their second upset with the win over 10th ranked Tallassee.

“There were so many kids, so many players, that had a hand in this win,” said CHHS Head Coach Brad McCoy. “I don’t think I have ever seen a group of guys as resilient about winning a ballgame, and going into the second half down two scores. My hat is also off to the coaching staff. They did an excellent job at halftime making some key adjustments, and the players just came out and played their hearts out.”

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Tallassee took an early 7-0 lead when Eryn Cochran-Gill blocked a CHHS punt, scooped it up and ran it in for the TD. Quarterback Kalvin Levett ran in from 13-yards later with 2:51 to go in the first quarter, and the Tigers were up 14-0 after the extra point by Quinton Jeter.

CHHS got on the board when Jones completed a 23-yard touchdown pass to Sean McKinney, but the extra point was no good, and it was 14-6 with 9:22 to go in the half.

McKinney had a huge night as a CHHS receiver, making 10 receptions for 152 yards and three touchdowns.

The Tigers responded with a 60-yard TD drive to go up 21-6 as Cochran-Gill threw a 46-yard halfback pass to Tavarious Griffin, and that was the score at halftime.

CHHS senior defensive end Cole Coppage had the game of his life, making ten tackles, being in on multiple assisted tackles, recovering one fumble, recording one sack and being in the backfield chasing the quarterback the rest of the night. After recovering a fumble at the Tallassee 9-yard line early in the third quarter, Jones found McKinney again for another touchdown pass play, Caleb Guice kicked the extra point, and it was 21-13.

Tallassee went up 28-13 on their next possession on a 1-yard run by Cochran-Gill, CHHS punted on their next possession, but Javontrez Allen recovered a Tallassee fumble and ran it in 13 yards for a CHHS touchdown to make it 28-19 with 5:16 to go in the third quarter.

Guice kicked a 33-yard field goal with 9:51 to play in the game to make it 28-22, and on the next series Jones found McKinney for their third touchdown throw and catch, and it was 28-28 as the extra point failed.

CHHS got the ball first in overtime, and on the first play Jones threw his fourth TD pass when he hit Pollard in the right side of the end zone to put the Trojans up 34-28.

Jones had his best performance as a quarterback this season for the Trojans, connecting on 19 of 41 passes for 279 yards and four touchdowns.

Tallassee had the ball one more time as the defense pushed the Tigers backwards, as Coppage sacked Levett at the 30, and two incompletions later the game ended.

Levett had a big night for Tallassee in the loss, rushing for 122 yards on 25 carries while completing 8 of 17 passes for 185 yards.

CHHS improved to 3-4 overall and 2-2 in region play, while Tallassee falls to 5-3 and 3-2.