Spring Football: Charles Henderson battles Hewitt-Trussville

Published 9:23 am Monday, May 15, 2023

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The Charles Henderson Trojans wrapped up spring football practices on Saturday with the finale of the C-Spire/Troy Cable Spring Football Classic at Veterans Memorial Stadium against 7A’s Hewitt-Trussville Huskies.

After getting down early, the Trojans fell 27-17 in the spring game with the CHHS backups and junior varsity playing much of the second half. The Trojans had difficulty slowing down Hewitt-Trussville’s fast-paced offense, which scored on its first three drives with two of those being less than two- minute drives.

“When you have a team that is so fast-paced, that runs such a fast-paced offense, it’s hard to get your guys lined up and I think we got tired some,” CHHS Coach Quinn Hambrite said. “I think that’s a reason a lot of teams don’t want to play Hewitt-Trussville. They are fast skill-wise but their offense is just so fast-paced.

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“We just couldn’t get lined up. We were solid upfront but we have to read our keys better. When we lined up right, we stopped them and had them in a lot of third and fourth downs but just couldn’t get off the field.”

Zion Grady (6) hauls down a Huskie runner in the backfield. (Photo by Josh Boutwell)

Charles Henderson trailed 13-0 going into the second quarter when All-State receiver Jywon Boyd took a short pass from All-Messenger quarterback Parker Adams 49 yards for a touchdown to cut the lead to 13-7. The Huskies converted a pair of third downs and a pair of fourth downs on a 15-play scoring drive next to extend the lead back to 20-7.

The Trojans got back on the scoreboard next when Adams threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Wes Templin to cut the Hewitt-Trussville lead to 20-14. That scoring drive covered 70 yards in nine plays for CHHS.

The Huskies again marched deep into Trojan territory with just seconds remaining in the half but Boyd intercepted a Hewitt-Trussville pass as time expired to keep the score 20-14 at halftime.

“We did what we wanted to do offensively,” Hambrite said. “We moved the ball well and scored points. Our first drive we didn’t score because we got behind the sticks with a holding penalty but other than that, we saw what we needed to see from those guys. A lot of guys stepped up and made plays for us on offense.”

In the second half, Charles Henderson opted to take out Adams and Boyd and allow some of the younger players to compete for the remainder of the game. As the game wore on more backups and junior varsity players – for both sides – got a chance to play.

“That was always the plan,” Hambrite said of backups playing more in the second half. “There is nothing to prove from guys like Parker Adams and Jywon Boyd, we know what we will get out of them. Those were really the only two guys we sat out for the entire second half, though.

“Everyone else played at least two or three more series. We wanted to keep a solid offensive line out there to protect (quarterback) Blake (Lowery) and our young quarterback Kellen (Stewart), just to give them a fair chance to compete.

“For the most part, even our young guys played well. Owen Pugh, an eighth grader, got a chance to make some plays and he had two or three catches and did an excellent job of getting into the flow of the game. The offensive line did pretty well against Hewitt-Trussville, which has a really good defensive line. We still have a few question marks on defense but I trust our staff to make the right adjustments and get those worked out.”

Wes Templin (44) catches a touchdown pass in the spring game against Hewitt-Trussville. (Photo by Josh Boutwell)

The Huskies tacked on one touchdown in the second half, while Charles Henderson kicker Nik Peerson booted a 37-yard field goal to make the final score 27-17 in the favor of Hewitt-Trussville.

The Huskies totaled 444 yards of offense compared to Charles Henderson’s 232 yards. In the first half, CHHS netted 136 yards of offense with Hewitt-Trussville earning 270 yards. Adams completed 6-of-9 passes for 103 yards and two touchdowns, while Boyd hauled in two catches for 64 yards and one touchdown along with two carries for 14 yards on the ground. Boyd also tallied five tackles and an interception on defense. Zion Grady, Zarion Mack and Zamir Caffie earned sacks.

Lowery completed 6-of-8 passes for CHHS for 44 yards, while Terrance Thomas rushed for 37 yards on 10 carries. Kameron Johnson also earned four catches for 39 yards and Templin scored a touchdown.

While a win in the spring game would have certainly been welcomed from the Trojans, Hambrite is still excited about where his team is heading.

“We don’t go into the spring preparing for an opponent,” Hamrbite emphasized. “ We go into it trying to better ourselves, physically and mentally, and it’s not about schematics so much. That came on game week when we were trying to prepare for Hewitt-Trussville.

“The first two weeks we were working ourselves and it was a little earlier in the spring than I wanted it to be, because we only had one week with the track guys. It’s really hard to get those guys into shape and mentally prepared for a game in five practices. We played a 7A Top 10 team that makes it to the third round of the playoffs every year and I think we competed well. I’m excited for the summer and fall and I think it’s going to be really good.”