Charles Henderson battles JAG, weather in C Spire Spring Classic

Published 10:30 am Friday, May 10, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Charles Henderson Trojans wrapped up spring football practices with the C Spire Spring Classic against the JAG Jaguars on Thursday night and had to not only deal with a Class 7A foe but also driving rain and lightning delays.

Charles Henderson started the game off with a masterful 70-yard scoring drive that incoming senior quarterback Blake Lowery capped off with a 20-yard touchdown pass to receiver Kam Johnson. The scoring play was set up by a 30-yard pass from Lowery to Cedric Brown. The two-point try failed but CHHS had an early 6-0 lead.

JAG, formerly known as Jefferson Davis High School, responded by driving right down the field as rain began to pour in Veterans Memorial Stadium. The Trojan defense, however, stood tall and Ziggy Body recovered a JAG fumble inside the Charles Henderson 10-yard line.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The Trojans turned the ball over downs just as the first quarter came to a close and then lightning began to pop around the area, causing both teams to exit the field. The lightning delay ended up lasting for more than an hour before the two sides were cleared to return to play. Because of the delay, the two teams agreed to play the second quarter and go straight into the third quarter – with no halftime – and play through the third quarter before calling the game, so as not to end too late.

Charles Henderson running back Antonio Frazier looks for running room against JAG. (Photo by Josh Boutwell)

“It’s very difficult to deal with that, especially in the spring,” CHHS Coach Quinn Hambrite said of the weather delay. “You don’t know how your team will react to that type of adversity in the spring, it’s sort of uncharted territory. I think we came out a little flat and (JAG) had the momentum coming out of the delay because we ended the first quarter on a bad play on fourth down. We did step it up when we got our legs back under us in the third quarter, that was solid.”

After the two sides exchanged turnovers on downs, Charles Henderson opened the third quarter by driving inside the JAG 15-yard line. After a sack knocked CHHS back, the Trojans would eventually turn the ball over on downs again.

The Jags then began marching down the field on an 80-yard scoring drive. JAG quarterback JaMichael Harris capped it off with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Ty’Anthony Elmore. The two-point conversion gave JAG an 8-6 lead.

After another CHHS turnover on downs, JAG scored on a 9-yard touchdown run from Armonte Graham with less than 10 seconds remaining in the third quarter. The two-point conversion extended the Jags lead to 16-6.

As time expired in the third quarter, CHHS quarterback Kellen Stewart heaved a 70-yard scoring bomb to Johnson for the Trojans’ first touchdown since the first drive of the game. The CHHS two-point try was no good and JAG would ultimately take the 16-12 win as the game was called after the third quarter.

Both Charles Henderson quarterbacks – Stewart and Lowery – threw touchdown passes in the spring contest, while Kam Johnson caught both touchdown passes.

“I think the quarterbacks did a good job taking care of the ball,” Hambrite said. “Each quarterback has their own intangibles that they bring to the game. Blake, being a shorter guy, can manipulate his way to see everything and has a pretty good arm and reads the defense pretty good. He does everything we need him to do as a game manager for us that can also make plays when he scrambles.

“He knows the entire playbook, inside and out. Kellen has all the intangibles of a quarterback – height, arm strength, mobility – everything you need. Once he learns the system fully and learns the plays in and out, he will be very special.”

Coming into the spring game, Hambrite emphasized that he wanted to see his team compete more than anything else and he came out of the game pleased with what he saw.

“They played hard and gave us pretty much everything we needed to see from them, like who will help, who needs improvement and who we can count on,” he said. “Up front, the offensive line is brand new except for Kingston Sharp, and they played a solid game. They didn’t have a good game or the best game but it was solid. I was proud of them for what they’ve done from day one until yesterday; it was night and day. I was proud of that progression.”