CHHS secures playoff spot with win over Headland

Published 11:00 pm Friday, October 20, 2023

By Dan Smith

It was as simple as it gets: Win and secure a berth in the AHSAA Class 5A state playoffs, lose and basketball practices begin a week later.

That is what Charles Henderson High was up against Friday night when they hosted Headland in a Region 2 slugfest, and four quarters later the Trojans were guaranteed a spot in the playoffs with a 35-14 win over the visiting Rams.

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Improving to 5-3 overall and 3-2 in the region, the Trojans end their regular season next Friday at home against Selma before hosting the first round of the playoffs the following Friday, Nov. 3 at Troy’s Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Headland came into Troy with a 6-1 overall record and 3-1 in Region 2 play, fought with CHHS to a 14-14 halftime gridlock, with Charles Henderson dominating the second half on their Homecoming night.

CHHS Head Coach Quinn Hambrite has been telling his team all season they have to finish every play, every quarter and every game, and it was the second half where the Trojans turned up the defense and produced some big offensive drives for the crucial victory. They had to finish and they did.

“That gut check is what you need,” said Coach Hambrite. “When your back is against the wall, you are going to do one of two things. You are going to dominate or you are going to fold. I don’t like folding. I don’t like folding clothes, so I’m not going to fold in a football game. When you go into a game expecting to win, and not hoping you won’t lose, those are two different mentalities. We went into this game expecting to win and we did.”

The Trojans used all of their weapons on offense with Parker Adams passing for 197 yards and two touchdowns, while Jywon Boyd rushed for 32 yards and a touchdown and caught three passes for 85 yards and another TD.

Zack Coleman also added two touchdowns, rushing for 38 yards and a score while catching one pass for 53 yards and another touchdown. The two-headed monster running attack of Coleman and Antonio Frazier was punishing as the night wore on, with Frazier gaining 55 yards and also scored a touchdown.

Headland got on the board first when quarterback Jaxon Williams completed a 13-yard TD pass to Conner McKenzie, and the two connected again on a two-point pass-play for an 8-0 Rams lead.

The Trojans scored on their first possession of the second quarter with Boyd fighting his way in from the 1, Nik Peerson kicked and it was 8-7 with 10:30 to go in the first half.

Headland answered with a drive to go up 14-7, which culminated on a 28-yard sprint by Williams.

Coleman scored his first touchdown for CHHS on a 1-yard run, Peerson kicked and both teams went into the half tied 14-14.

CHHS received the kickoff to open the second half, and on the first offensive play of the series Adams lofted a 53-yard touchdown pass to Coleman and it was 21-14.

In the opening series of the fourth quarter for the Trojans, Antonio Frazier had runs of 21 yards, 16, 2 and 4 before scoring on a 6-yard carry up the middle and a 28-14 CHHS advantage.

The Trojans added their final touchdown with 2:54 to go in the game when Adams completed a pass to Boyd on the left side, and it was vintage Boyd as he broke several tackles and was impossible to bring down for a 44-yard scoring play, and the 35-14 win.

CHHS is at home next Friday night, Oct. 27, to close out the regular season against Selma for Senior Night.