Trojans look to finish regular season strong

Published 1:04 pm Tuesday, October 24, 2023

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The Charles Henderson Trojans (6-3) wrap up the 2023 regular season this Friday at home against the Selma Saints (2-7) in a non-region game.

Last week, Charles Henderson clinched a spot in the playoffs with a resounding 35-14 Homecoming win over Headland.

“The first half we had some Homecoming jitters,” CHHS Coach Quinn Hambrite said. “I was happy we got those out of our system in the first half and the second half we turned it on and they didn’t score. We put up 21 more points to finalize it.”

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After losing to Rehobeth on Oct. 6, the Trojans won back-to-back games to secure a return to the playoffs. Hambrite said his team was excited to be back in the playoffs but they’re trying not to look too far ahead.

“We’re taking things one game at a time, we’re focusing on Selma right now,” Hambrite said. “Next week is going to be 110 percent about us, focusing on us getting better but right now we have to remain focused on finishing strong.”

Last week, Charles Henderson senior quarterback Parker Adams officially eclipsed 6,000 career passing yards and this season he’s completed 63 percent of his passes for 1,654 yards and 14 touchdowns with just five interceptions.

Running back Zach Coleman leads the Trojan rushing attack with 817 yards and 14 touchdowns on 105 carries, while Jywon Boyd continues to be one of the most dangerous athletes in the area with 49 catches for 838 yards and 10 touchdowns along with 31 carries for 265 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. CHHS tight end Noah Greene also has 20 catches for 301 yards and three touchdowns.

Zion Grady leads the CHHS defense with 68 tackles, 20 tackles-for-loss, eight sacks and an interception, while Boyd has tallied 42 tackles, two tackles-for-loss, four interceptions and one forced fumble.

Last season, Charles Henderson and Selma met for the first time in school history with the Trojans walking away with a 37-26 win. This season, the Saints have struggled to a 2-7 record but Hambrite says that record can be deceiving.

“They’re a very, very athletic team and a team that looks like they should be 7-2 or 6-3 at a bare minimum,” he said. “They’re 2-6 right now but they are a very talented team. They have the skill players to run with us and if you can run with us you can do some damage.

“I think we have a chance with the special teams battle and in the trenches where we can outmatch them but if they bring their ‘A-Game’ they can match up with us. They’re a good, athletic team.”

Selma and CHHS have just one mutual opponent this season, Beauregard. Both Charles Henderson shut out Beauregard 27-0 on Sept. 22, while Selma fell to Beauregard 29-6 on Aug. 24.

Sophomore quarterback Samarion Woods leads the Selma offense with 647 yards and four touchdowns passing along with 381 yards rushing. He’s also thrown eight interceptions. On the defensive end, junior Kendarious White has 71 tackles, 15 tackles-for-loss, three sacks, three interceptions, eight pass breakups and two fumble recoveries. Sophomore Amerie Eaton also has 54 tackles, 20 tackles-for-loss and six sacks, while sophomore Nicholas Thomas has four interceptions.

The CHHS coaching staff is preaching this week about finishing the regular season strong, so as to take that positive momentum into the playoffs.

“We want to finish strong. This is a playoff game for us,” Hambrite said. “Every week is a playoff week. Since Eufaula, we’ve treated every week like the playoffs and we’re not going to stop now. We can’t come out flat or like we’ve made it or have a complacent mindset.

“We have to come out with a dominant mindset. It’s not about arrogance; it’s about having another level of confidence. If you come into a game expecting not to lose, you have a good chance to lose. If you go into a game expecting to win then there is a good chance the result will meet your expectations; you have to have that confidence. You have to put in the work first, though. This week will tell the tale for the remainder of the year.”

Charles Henderson hosts Selma at 7 p.m. on Oct. 27 at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Troy.