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Trojans shoot down Squadron

Highland Home kicked off the 2004 football season in grand fashion last Friday night.

The Flying Squadron traveled to Troy to take on the seventh-ranked, Class 5A Charles Henderson Trojans in a non-region match up at Troy University's Movie Gallery Veteran's Stadium.

Without a doubt, Henderson was the biggest classification opponent faced by Highland Home in school history. The Class 2A Squadron lost 42-7.

Coach Hugh Fountain's Trojans out numbered the Flyboys almost two-to-one on the depth chart and averaged 6-foot-2, 270 pounds across the offensive front.

But Coach Bob Farrior's young Squadron troop gave a gallant effort as they took on the roll of David again the giant from Troy.

On the opening kickoff Charles Henderson's place kicker Russell Salmon nailed the football three yards deep into the Flyboys end zone. Highland Home took over first and 10 at their own 20-yard-line.

From that point, it took the men from Troy only 28 seconds to get their first score of the night. All-State defensive end Quavian Lewis picked off Squadron quarterback Deymond Williams' pass at Highland's 34-yard-line and raced untouched into the end zone for the score. Salmon booted the point after kick through the uprights to give CHHS an early 7-0 lead.

After the Flyboys were forced to punt on their next offensive possession it took the Trojans only five plays to cover 40 yards to pay dirt. Sophomore quarterback Jared Loftin hooked up with Lewis on a 16-yard scoring toss. Once again the PAT was good to give Henderson a 14-0 lead with 7:52 remaining in the first quarter.

With the Flyboys trailing by two touchdowns, they closed the gap as they drove 61 yards in nine plays for their first and only score of the game. Williams hit senior wide out Tony Merriweather on a fourth-and-19 play for the touchdown. Keith Dawkins' PAT sailed down the middle with just under eight minutes to go in the half.

As expected, the Trojans' offensive 11 turned up the heat in the last six minutes of the half to score two unanswered touchdowns and take a 28-7 lead into the locker room.

Two late touchdowns, one in the third quarter and one late in the fourth closed out the scoring for the night.

Charles Henderson ended the night with 297 yards of offense and 16 first downs. The young Squadron had 81 yards of total offense and only six first downs.

The Flyboys cut their turnover ratio in half compared to their preseason game with Elba.

Leading the Flyboys on offense were Merriweather and seniors Kiko Gipson and Clemmie Nichols. Gipson finished with nine solo tackles, three assists and one interception. Nichols had six solo tackles and three assists and Merriweather finished with five solo tackles and one assist.

The Squadron will host the Beulah Bobcats at 7 p.m. tomorrow night in region play.

The 'Cats, coached by Jeff Lamb, will lineup in the Wing-T on offense and run a 50 look on defense. Beulah is 0-1 on the season following a 32-22 loss to Notasulga last week.