CHHS set for second round playoff clash with No. 1 Gulf Shores

Published 11:17 am Monday, November 13, 2023

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The Charles Henderson Trojans’ (7-3) playoff path now leads to Gulf Shores, where they will do battle with the Class 5A No. 1 ranked Gulf Shore Dolphins (11-0) in the second round of the 5A State Playoffs this Friday, Nov. 17.

CHHS is coming off a dominant 64-20 win over Marbury in the first round last week. That point total was the highest scoring Trojan performance since a 67-point outburst in 2013.

“We played well,” CHHS Coach Quinn Hambrite said. “We executed and everyone got some love in that game. Jywon (Body) had a great game, Parker (Adams) had an excellent game and both the offensive and defensive lines played well. It was all around a good game for us.”

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In a moment that has been shared many times online, Boyd looked to be on his way to a fifth touchdown on the night – on a kickoff return – when he instead saw teammate Terrance Thomas trailing behind him and handed the ball to the younger Trojan, allowing him to score his first varsity touchdown.

“Jywon is an excellent football player and by far one of the best football players I’ve ever coached,” Hambrite emphasized. “I have a few (former players) that have played in the NFL and several in college right now. Overall, he’s not the strongest or fastest or biggest but he is a baller.

“For your baller to go out there and want to share the wealth like that is good for the team overall, it’s good for team camaraderie and really shows what type of kid he is. He’s an unselfish player. He wants the ball but at the end of the day, he shares it, as well. I’m proud of him for sharing the wealth in that moment.”

The Trojans’ attention now turns to one of the best teams in the state, Gulf Shores. The Dolphins have been dominant this season, outscoring opponents 434-110. Last week, Gulf Shores thrashed Beauregard 48-7 in the first round. Beauregard is the only mutual opponent between the two schools. CHHS also defeated Beauregard 27-0 back on Sept. 22.

“They’re athletic and similar to us,” Hambrite said of Gulf Shores. “I think we match up well with them and they match up well with us. When I look at film, I see a team that is No. 1 in the state for a reason. We just have to get out there and execute the game plan to give ourselves a chance to win.”

The Dolphins are led by North Carolina State commit Ronnie Royal, who has 619 yards and 11 touchdowns rushing along with 406 yards and one touchdown receiving. The senior has also returned two kickoffs for touchdowns, four punts for touchdowns and returned an interception for a touchdown.

The Dolphins also boast weapons all over the field. Running back Kolin Wilson has 1,366 yards and 22 touchdowns on the ground, while receiver Brayden Jackson has 344 yards and four touchdowns receiving.

The Dolphin defense is also a physical one, with five different players boasting 10 or more tackles-for-loss. Senior Otto Brewer has tallied 48 tackles, 23.5 tackles-for-loss and 4.5 sacks, while Jamichael Garrett has 60 tackles, 17.5 tackles-for-loss and 7.5 sacks. Jackson leads the Dolphin defense with five interceptions, while Royal also has three.

Hambrite emphasized that the way Charles Henderson wins this weeks is with effort.

“We have to play fast, play physical, play smart and play disciplined,” Hambrite said. “Effort is something you can’t coach. You beat a team like this with effort. If you match up with them athlete-for-athlete, next is discipline and then effort.

“We have to execute in all phases of the game – offensively, defensively and on special teams – and I want to see our guys go out there and play hard and I think the results will show for itself.”

This is the first time that Charles Henderson and Gulf Shores have ever met on the gridiron. In the playoffs, Gulf Shores has a 4-4 record all-time, while Charles Henderson has a 24-25 all-time record in the playoffs. The Trojans are 5-1 in the playoffs over the last two seasons.

Charles Henderson will travel to Gulf Shores and play the Dolphins at 7 p.m. on Nov. 17 at Mickey Miller Blackwell Stadium. The stadium is located at 19025 Oak Road West in Gulf Shores.