Charles Henderson prepares for Top 10 showdown with Mary Montgomery

Published 11:00 am Monday, August 28, 2023

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The Class 5A No. 2-ranked Charles Henderson Trojans will open the 2023 football regular season with a Top 10 matchup at Veterans Memorial Stadium this Thursday, Aug. 31.

The Trojans opened up the season with a preseason jamboree against Pike County this past Friday, picking up a 48-7 win. The Trojan offense seemed to be in midseason in from in the jamboree, rolling up 479 yards of offense. Quarterback Parker Adams completed 13-of-16 passes for 255 yards and four touchdowns, while athlete Jywon Boyd was back at it with 63 yards and a touchdown on just two rushing attempts to go along with six receptions for 175 yards and two touchdowns through the air. Boyd also had a kick return for a touchdown called back on a penalty.

“It went as expected,” CHHS Coach Quinn Hambrite said. “We executed our game plan on both sides of the ball. We had a few special teams mishaps but that’s just part of it. Other than that, I felt like we played pretty well. I was proud of our effort. Pike County came out and played physical the whole game, so I was glad we had that type of game.”

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Charles Henderson also got production from its two-headed rushing attack in the backfield as senior Zach Coleman reeled off 74 yards and a touchdown on 10 attempts, while junior Antonio Frazier earned 54 yards on nine carries.

CHHS also got to see production from a familiar but new face in tight end Noah Greene. Green tore his ACL in the preseason jamboree against Pike County last season but exploded in his first appearance on the field since that game, with four catches for 51 yards and two touchdowns.

“He played exceptionally well. We ask a lot out of that position,” Hambrite said of Greene. “He’s unselfish when it comes to blocking – he’s going to block his tail off for his teammates – and he was rewarded with two touchdowns because of it.

“With the attention that Jywon (Boyd) is going to get, it’s just going to open up the flood gates for him to be wide open and he has to make the plays when the ball comes to him and he did that Friday night.”

Charles Henderson also got points from its defense as All-American defensive end Zion Grady returned an interception for a touchdown.

Charles Henderson won’t be starting things off in the regular season slowly as the Trojans face off against the Class 7A No. 9-ranked Mary G. Montgomery (MMG) Vikings. The Vikings are coming off a dominating 41-2 win over Williamson in week one.

MMG rolled up 438 yards of offense against Williamson and gave up just 102 yards on defense. Last season, the Trojans bested Mary Montgomery 24-20 to open the season, which was the first time the two schools have ever met.

“We expect to see an athletic, well-coached team,” Hambrite said of Mary Montgomery. “They have a really good coaching staff and I knew Coach (Zach) Golson was going to turn that program around last year. You can tell a big difference from when they played us (last year) and now.

“They’re more physical and more confident and are very, very athletic. They can make plays down the field and they can run the ball and they’re very disciplined on defense. We’re playing one of the best teams – probably the best team – on our schedule until the playoffs.”

Hambrite was clear about what he needs to see from his Trojans this Thursday.

“We have to be very disciplined, play fast, play physical and play smart,” he said. “We have to execute. I give our guys the 24-hour rule when it comes to a win and I hope they’re not too high on that (Pike County) win and we can focus on what is ahead of us right now.

“We have to go 1-0 every week and to do that we have to play disciplined football and execute our game plan to give ourselves a chance.”

The matchup with the Vikings will be Charles Henderson’s last time playing in the friendly confines of “The Vet” for more than a month. After this week, the Trojans will be on the road for five straight games before finally returning to Troy on Oct. 13.