Visiting Henderson shuts down Tigers
Shotgun. Three wide. Four wide. Wishbone. Straight T. I-formation.
Charles Henderson gives opposing defenses a lot of different looks. But when the Trojans are at their best it's not a complicated attack: hand the ball to Joey Moultry.
The 6-foot, 180-pound senior tailback scored two touchdowns and gained 95 yards on 16 carries to help the Trojans defeat Greenville 21-0 at Greenville High School Tiger Stadium. The victory clinched second place in the Class 5A, Region 2 standings for the Trojans, who improved to 7-2 overall and 6-1 in the region. Greenville fell to 1-8 and completed region play at 1-6. The Tigers honored senior players, band members and cheerleaders before the home finale. They finish the season next week at Demopolis.
Greenville was sharp starting the game. Its biggest ground gain came on the Tigers' first play from scrimmage, when Kelcius Savage gained 22 yards on a reverse. Greenville got as close as the 24-yard line, but quarterback Andrew Hartman's pass on third-and-four at the 24 was intercepted by Demonte King.
Greenville returned to scoring position on its second possession of the game. A fine catch by Isiah Mack between two Trojan defenders gave Greenville a first down on the CHHS 20.
The drive stalled after a holding penalty. Greenville tried a trick play out of field-goal formation on the 21-yard line. Michael McDonald's pass for Lynn Lewis was incomplete.
"We were just trying to make something happen," Greenville coach Alvin Briggs said. "This is a big rivalry for us. We knew what they were going to do, we just couldn't get enough plays made. They made the plays that we didn't."
One of the game's key plays came on a fumbled punt. Greenville had forced the Trojans to punt from their own 28-yard line. The kick took a bounce and Lewis fielded it, but was hit by Ahmadd McClanney as he grabbed the ball. Harrison Bryant recovered for Charles Henderson at the Greenville 37.
From there, Troy turned to Moultry, who had just one carry on the Trojans' first three possessions. He carried on four of the next six plays, capping the drive on a 16-yard touchdown run. Moultry bounced outside off left tackle on third-and-1 for the score. Michael Partridge made the first of three extra point kicks to give CHHS a 7-0 lead with 3:58 left in the first half.
Greenville held off a frantic last-minute drive just before the half. Quarterback Marquazs Toney moved the team to the 17 with 11 seconds left. He threw a swing pass to Moultry, who gained 14 yards to the 3 and Toney spiked the ball with one second remaining. Moultry ran over left guard and was stopped inches short of the goal line as time expired.
"You've got to take advantage of your opportunities," Henderson coach Hugh Fountain told his team after the game. "You have to find a way if you're going to be great."
After chiding his team for a lackluster first half, Charles Henderson's depth and relentless ground game took its toll in the second half.
"They wore us down with their offense," Briggs said.
Charles Henderson's defense held Greenville to 30 yards in the second half - although penalty yards are factored into that number. The Tigers had only four second-half possessions and three first downs.
The Trojans' ground game shortened the game. Moultry carried nine times on a 10-play touchdown drive that chewed up more than four minutes. Moultry finished it on a 5-yard run that featured a spin move in the backfield that helped him evade Kelcius Savage, who was blitzing.
Charles Henderson scored on its next possession when Toney scored from the 3 on a bootleg around left end.
"It was important to get the shutout," Fountain said. "We knew it wouldn't be easy. Our defense has shut them out two years in a row now. Greenville isn't the kind of team that's going to give up 40 points."