Trojans drop season opener to 7A Mary G. Montgomery

Published 10:31 pm Thursday, August 31, 2023

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The Class 5A No. 2-ranked Charles Henderson Trojans (0-1) got the 2023 regular season off to a rocky start with a 19-7 home loss to the Class 7A No. 9-ranked Mary G. Montgomery Vikings (2-0) on Thursday night.

It was a sloppy game for both teams as Charles Henderson was penalized 14 times for 127 yards and turned the ball over twice, while MGM was penalized 16 times for 120 yards and turned the ball over once. Charles Henderson also earned five personal foul penalties in the loss.

Viking quarterback Jared Hollins was the difference in the game, however, completing 15-of-20 passes for 198 yards and a touchdown along with scoring two rushing touchdowns.

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After Charles Henderson missed a field goal on its opening possession, MGM marched down the field on a 9-play, 80-yard drive that Hollins capped off with a 7-yard scoring scamper. After a bobbled snap on the PAT attempt, the Vikings led 6-0 with 3:59 left in the opening period.

The two sides exchanged punts entering the second quarter and then momentum shifted as the Trojans failed to convert on a fourth down attempt in their own territory. Hollins made CHHS pay on the very next play, heaving a 33-yard touchdown pass to receiver James Bolton. The PAT gave MGM a 13-0 lead with 4:40 left in the half.

After a quick three-and-out for the Trojans, Mary Montgomery drove into CHHS territory but faced a third-and-four from the Charles Henderson 25-yard line. CHHS All-American Zion Grady sacked Hollins on the third down play and then Hollins’ fourth down pass fell incomplete. MGM would take its 13-0 lead into halftime.

After the Charles Henderson defense forced a three-and-out to begin the second half, the two sides then exchanged turnovers on downs. After another CHHS punt, Hollins scored on a 2-yard touchdown run with 2:20 left in the third quarter. A two-point try failed and Mary Montgomery’s lead remained 19-0.

On the next play, MGM’s Jaylen Gray intercepted a Parker Adams pass near midfield. Entering the fourth quarter, the Trojan defense stood tall and forced another punt as All-State Charles Henderson athlete Jywon Boyd crumpled on the turf with a leg injury.

Despite the injury, Boyd would return to the field three plays later and make a highlight reel leaping 30-yard catch deep into MGM territory. After forcing a pass interference call, Boyd then made a one-handed grab – on virtually one leg – on a 4-yard touchdown catch with 10:00 left in the game to cut the Viking lead to 19-7.

Charles Henderson forced a punt on MGM’s next drive but the Vikings ate more than five minutes of game time off the clock. Adams was unable to handle a low snap on the next play and Charles Henderson turned the ball over to Mary Montgomery deep in Trojan territory.

Still, the Trojan defense once again stood tall and linebacker Zarion Mack forced a fumble on Hollins, which Zach Coleman recovered. Charles Henderson was never able to get back into scoring position again, however, and the Vikings held on for the win.

The usually explosive Charles Henderson offense rolled up just 243 yards of offense with 66 yards coming on the ground. CHHS was just 4-for-17 on third downs and 0-for-2 on fourth downs.

Adams completed 16-of-27 passes for 177 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Boyd caught nine passes for 121 yards and one touchdown, while also recording six tackles and two pass breakups on defense. Coleman rushed 32 yards on 10 carries and earned one tackle and a fumble recovery on defense.

Defensively, Grady led the Trojans with 11 tackles, two tackles-for-loss, two sacks and a quarterback hurry, while Jalen Suddith tallied seven tackles, 2.5 tackles-for-loss and a sack. Mack recorded six tackles, one tackle-for-loss and a forced fumble.

MGM totaled 339 yards of offense and earned 17 first downs, while going 4-for-15 on third downs and 1-for-3 on fourth downs.

Charles Henderson will look to rebound next Friday, Sept. 8, in the first of a five-game road stretch at Greenville as region play begins.