Trojans treating every week like the playoffs

Published 11:17 am Tuesday, October 17, 2023

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The Charles Henderson Trojans (4-3, 2-2) currently sit in a three-way tie for third place in Class 5A, Region 2 and this week they face off against second place place Headland Rams (6-1, 3-1) with a potential slot in the playoffs on the line.

CHHS Coach Quinn Hambrite and his coaches have been preaching that every week is like the playoffs now.

“I told them after we dropped the game against Rehobeth that every week was like the playoffs,” Hambrite emphasized. “We started the playoffs last week. It’s win or go home for the duration of the season. Hopefully we can keep that mentality and not get complacent and caught up in all the Homecoming festivities this week.”

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Headland sits in second place of the region with Eufaula still in first place. Charles Henderson, Rehobeth and Carroll are tied for third. The Trojans have already been dealt losses to Carroll and Rehobeth this season. Rehobeth plays Eufaula this week and Carroll plays last place Greenville.

Last week, CHHS stayed alive in the playoff hunt by decimating Eufaula 51-31, knocking off the first place Tigers.

“They played like they should have all year, honestly,” Hambrite said of his team. “We came out with a different mentality. It was do or die for us. You win, you keep yourself in it and have a chance at the playoffs and if you lose, you’re out. With our backs against the wall they performed very well and I was proud of them.”

Now, Charles Henderson has to beat the second place team in the region, Headland. The Rams are coming off a 52-22 blowout win over Carroll and have now won four straight since losing 56-14 to Eufaula earlier in the season.

“They are athletic, physical and they can move you around with their offensive line,” Hambrite said of Headland. “We have to match or supersede their physicality. Defensively, they run what they run and stick to their guns. We just have to be strategic and methodical when it comes to making plays offensively and calling the offense.

“If we execute the game plan we’ll give ourselves a chance. They are extremely athletic, though and coming off a big win over Carroll. A team like this that gets hot at the end of the year is a dangerous team.”

Headland’s offense is led by sophomore Marcus Reeves with 533 yards and a touchdown on 83 carries, while senior quarterback Jaxon Williams has 34 carries for 326 yards and six touchdowns. Williams and senior Easton Boutwell have combined for 755 yards and eight touchdowns this season. The Ram defense is led by seniors Kendrell Corbitt (66 tackles, 10 tackles-for-loss and three sacks) and Caleb Dozier (63 tackles, 20 tackles-for-loss, six sacks and three fumble recoveries).

“We have to have the same mentality we had last week,” Hambrite said. “We need to have the same level of focus. It was more of a laser focus last week than a flashlight. When you’re a flashlight you can illuminate the entire room but a laser zooms in one particular aspect. I feel like that’s what we need to have, laser vision. We need to be focused on Headland, be where you’re 10 toes are. If we lock in and buy in then we give ourselves a chance this week.”

Charles Henderson hosts Headland at 7 p.m. this Friday, Oct. 20 for Homecoming.