Trojans battle Rams in 5A Semifinals

Published 4:09 pm Tuesday, November 22, 2022

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The Charles Henderson Trojans (11-1) hit the road this Friday for the Class 5A Semifinals on Friday night against the Faith Academy Rams (12-1).

For the first time in school history, the Trojans are competing in the 5A Semifinals and just the third time in the school’s history that CHHS has made it to the semifinals of any classification. Both of those other times, Charles Henderson ended up playing in the State Championship. The Trojans won the Class 3A State Title in 1980 and the Class 4A State Runner-Up in 2013. This is Faith Academy’s second trip to the semifinals in the past three years, as well. The Rams have never played for a state championship in the AHSAA.

The Trojans defeated Class 5A’s previously No. 1-ranked UMS-Wright by a score of 19-16 in the quarterfinals last Thursday, while Faith Academy upended Gulf Shores 20-14 last Friday in another quarterfinal matchup. Faith Academy now sits at No. 2 while Charles Henderson is the No. 3-ranked team in the MaxPreps 5A Top 10.

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Despite Faith having been part of the AHSAA’s Class 5A since 2008, this is only the second time the Rams and Trojans have ever met on the football field. The last time was the first round of the playoffs back in 2019, a 31-0 Ram win.

Faith’s offense is led by junior quarterback Jarrett Daughtry, who has completed 136-of-197 passes for 2,084 yards and 21 touchdowns with just five interceptions. His favorite target this season is junior receiver Tynean Goodwill with 46 catches for 756 yards and 10 touchdowns, while senior Dorian Smith has 50 catches for 668 yards and four touchdowns on the year. Senior running back Christian Burnette leads the ground game with 141 carries for 990 yards and 15 touchdowns.

On the defensive end, junior linebacker Jaeden Simmons has amassed 100 tackles, two tackles-for-loss, one interception and four blocked kicks. Junior Carson Ratliff also has 92 tackles, 10 tackles-for-loss and four sacks, while sophomore linebacker Edwin King has tallied 91 tackles, 12 tackles-for-loss and six sacks. Junior Tyrell Dotson leads the Ram defense with six interceptions.

Charles Henderson’s offense is guided by junior quarterback Parker Adams, who has completed 158-of-259 passes for 2,322 yards, 25 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Last week, junior athlete Jy’won Boyd broke the 1,000-yard mark as he’s tallied 55 catches for 1,009 yards and 16 touchdowns receiving. Senior Stephon Mosely also has 37 catches for 607 yards and four touchdowns. The Trojan running game is led by junior Zach Coleman with 737 yards and eight touchdowns on 136 carries, while sophomore Antonio Frazier has 123 carries for 579 yards and three scores. Boyd has also returned 15 punts for 270 yards and two touchdowns with 11 kickoff returns for 363 yards and another score.

On defense, sophomore defensive end Zion Grady continues to be a nightmare for opposing offenses as he comes into the semifinals with 99 tackles, 34 tackles-for-loss and 21 sacks. Grady’s sack total ranks second in the state, regardless of classification, according to MaxPreps. Senior linebacker Damien Hart leads the CHHS defense with 137 tackles, six tackles-for-loss and two sacks, while Boyd and senior safety Mario Davenport have five interceptions each.

The Trojan offense is averaging 348.5 yards per game and 29 points per game, while Faith is averaging 300.4 yards per game and 32.3 points per game. The Trojans are giving up 16 points per game this season and the Rams are allowing just 8.6 points per game. Faith’s 420 points score this season is tied for third most in school history. Charles Henderson’s 348 points scored in 2022 is the most since the 2014 season.

The Trojans and Rams will meet at Ram Field in Mobile on the campus of Faith Academy at 7 p.m. on Friday night with the winner earning their spot in the Class 5A State Championship in Auburn.