CHILDERSBURG -- Childersburg High School’s offense shined in moments, but the Tigers were overshadowed by a Helena offense that scored seven touchdowns in a 48-20 rout in a spring football jamboree at John Cox Stadium on Friday.
Tigers head coach Jonathan Beverly said he liked what he saw from his Class 4A squad against the Huskies, who play in 6A.
“We’re installing some new stuff on offense, so I saw what we wanted to see with the little bit we have installed,” Beverly said. “We’ve got some guys in new positions, and I think we got what we wanted out of the spring, playing competition that’s two classes bigger. That’s what we needed to see in order to see what’s going to carry us, hopefully, in the fall.”
Helena running back Brodie Jones put the first touchdown on the scoreboard with a 5-yard run to give the Huskies a 7-0 lead.
It didn’t take long for Childersburg to respond. On the first play of the ensuing drive, Tigers running back Xzavion Garrett gashed Helena’s defense with a 75-yard touchdown run. Childersburg converted on a two-point attempt to eke ahead 8-7.
For the remainder of the half, it was all Helena as the Huskies scored 26 unanswered points.
Jones added his second touchdown run from 5 yards out, then quarterback Mac Turner found tight end Will Griffith on a 45-yard touchdown pass.
In the second period, Helena running back Kobe Hughes burst through the Tigers’ defense for a 33-yard touchdown run, and running back Marquise Johnson chipped in an 8-yard TD run to give the Huskies a 33-8 advantage at the break.
After forcing Helena to punt on its first possession of the second half, Childersburg ended its scoring drought with a 69-yard touchdown run by running back Terry Thomas, who broke several tackles and sprinted down the right sideline to paydirt.
The Tigers failed to convert on the two-point play, leaving the score at 33-14.
A 26-yard Hughes touchdown extended Helena’s advantage to 40-14 with 2:33 to play in the third stanza.
Each team produced a touchdown in the final eight minutes.
Garrett escaped the Huskies defense on a 70-yard scamper, but Helena returned the favor on a long drive that was capped by a 12-yard run by Kaysn Bustamento, who also converted the two-point run.
Beverly said playing Helena was exactly what his roster needed to see at the end of spring.
“I wanted to play above our heads so that we can get a taste of competition that exceeds what we’ll probably see in the fall,” he said. “We see great competition on our schedule, but we’re not going to see a team dress 90 kids out. That’s what we needed to be able to compete against.
“Our roster size, we’re going to carry somewhere in the mid 40s, and the majority of the people on our schedule are going to carry somewhere in that range, maybe up to 50 or 60 guys.”
Cameron Thrash started at quarterback for Childersburg, and Beverly said he was thrilled with Thrash’s progress despite having just 25 percent of the offense installed.
“I thought Cameron Thrash had a fantastic spring,” Beverly said. “Last year, we voted him our offensive MVP. He had numerous big plays at receiver last year and had a lot of big-time games at receiver.
“Now, he’s transitioning to quarterback, and the one thing I told him to do all week long was take care of the football. That’s what he did. We didn’t have any turnovers, so we played four quarterbacks against a 6A opponent with no turnovers. That’s a big positive for us.
“He took care of the football. He managed the drives. He didn’t do too much, but he also made some plays like that last play of the first half. He makes a big run right there. We’re one block away from scoring. He did a lot of good things.”