Rivals Clash: Trojans earn close victory over Bulldogs

Published 11:11 pm Friday, August 23, 2019

Charles Henderson High and Pike County High squared off in Troy’s Veterans Memorial Stadium Friday night in a preseason contest, and while the Trojans of CHHS came away with a 12-6 win, both coaches saw many positive takeaways, but also areas that need to be improved upon.

“I think we had a lot of unforced errors, some things that Pike County did not cause, but things that we caused,” said CHHS Head Coach Brad McCoy. “But I think our guys did answer in some critical times in the football game. The defense had a big stop down inside the 15 and the offense had the drive to go ahead. I’m very proud of them. I thought our guys had a lot of fight about them. We just have got a lot of mistakes that we’ve got to get fixed.”

While CHHS is a Class 5A program and Pike County High is 3A, PCHS Head Coach Fred Holland was especially pleased with the performance of his young men, many playing on offense, defense and special teams.

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“I’m extremely pleased of our guys for playing as well as they did,” said Coach Holland. “We did not execute as well as I would have liked there at the end, but as time goes along, I think our players will get a lot better. I think we just had some bad execution at the end but I am pleased with how our guys played overall.

“As a coaching staff we try to stress the importance of conditioning because our kids do play on both sides of the ball and special teams, so we do take a lot of pride in our conditioning. They buy into it and it is something we have been doing for a while and try to maintain. We got a little winded at the end, but hopefully, as the season goes along it will get better.”

The Bulldogs took a 6-0 lead when Jordan Hobdy ran the ball in from five yards out with 0:20 remaining in the first quarter, and the extra point attempt was not successful.

CHHS tied the game at 6-6 when senior quarterback Pooka Jones found senior wide receiver Sean McKinney open for a 37-yard touchdown pass reception, but the extra point effort was no good with 11:12 to play in the first half.

The Bulldogs drove to the CHHS 10 yard line in the third quarter and eventually attempted a 27-yard field goal, but it was wide to the left.

CHHS then marched 80 yards for another touchdown, with Jones finding Elijah Caldwell open for a 7-yard TD pass play as he dived for the right pylon at the goal line.

The extra point was no good, with CHHS leading 12-6 with 10:26 to go in the contest.

The Bulldogs attempted to mount a drive in their final two possessions, but the Trojan defense eventually did not let them get any deeper than the CHHS 36 with less than a minute in the game before two consecutive plays went backward and time expired.

The Trojans were led in rushing by Jonathan Carter with 78 yards on 18 carries, while Jones completed 13 of 26 pass attempts for 198 yards and two touchdowns.

Rayshawn Reynolds led the Bulldogs in rushing with 108 yards on 25 carries, while Derrick Myhand picked up 44 yards on 11 carries. 

Coach McCoy was impressed by his opponent and said PCHS always is prepared under Coach Fred Holland.

“My hat is off to them and Coach Holland,” said Coach McCoy. “They’ve got a tough, hard-nosed football team. I mean, they play in all three phases of the ball game with 13 kids. To me, that’s phenomenal coaching from him and his staff. Those guys are well-conditioned. They’re tough as nails and they played a tremendous football game. I have a ton of respect for Pike County and what they’re doing because every year I see them improving and just being a really good football team.”

Coach Holland said his team made some strides forward in Friday’s game, as they look to open their regular season at Alabama Christian Academy in Montgomery next Friday.

“Every game is different, and we have just go to learn to put this one behind us and look forward to working towards the next one,” said Coach Holland. “I just hope we can continue to get a little better as we go. Right now, all I can see is how we played tonight. I don’t know anything about ACA but I know we will get some film on them, and go from there.”

The Trojans will host Class 7A Enterprise this upcoming Friday night in Veterans Memorial Stadium for the season opener.

“Enterprise has a new football coach, a new mindset, a new offense, and it is going to be a challenge, but that’s why we scheduled them,” said Coach McCoy. “Our guys are not going to back down from it. We’re going to have to fix the issues and get ready to play in one week.”