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September 29, 2012
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YULEE-To say it's been a quite crazy week for Derrick Henry would be a huge understatement.
Seven days ago, Henry broke two state records with a 502 yard and six touchdown performance in a win over Jackson.
Three hours before the biggest game of his four year high school career, he announced what college he would be attending in December by committing to Alabama.
He then capped his week with a 366 yard and six touchdown performance tonight over 42-6 Glades Day before a nationally televised audience on ESPNU.
"It's been a crazy week for me, but I give all the credit to my offensive line and teammates tonight. " Henry said. "This wouldn't be possible without practicing hard and getting in the weight room, I'm glad to get the win."
With several Jacksonville Jaguar players in attendance, as well as Florida head coach Will Muschamp, all eyes were on the two all-time leading rushers in state history, Glades Day senior Kelvin Taylor and Henry.
However it was "the King" (Henry's nickname) who stood out the most, as Henry turned a close game at half into a blowout scoring four of his six touchdowns on the night in the second half.
Henry gave the Hornets an early 7-0 lead on an errant pitch play, breaking two tackles before running down the left sideline untouched for a 65-yard touchdown run two minutes left in the first quarter.
Taylor, who celebrated his 19th birthday today, was "held" to 223 yards and one touchdown on 35 carries in the defeat. He scored his lone touchdown on the Gators ensuing drive an 8-yard run down the left side cutting the lead to 7-6 with 9:32 left in the first half.
"We knew we had to contain the edge and not let him get the edge, " Yulee coach Bobby Ramsay said." We did a really good job tonight defensively holding Taylor. I think he only broke two 30-yard runs the whole night."
Taylor who bragged on twitter for two weeks his team would stop Henry and be the first to hold him under 100 yards was silent, however Henry wasn't.
"People will talk a lot on twitter all they want," Henry said, "But I do my talking on the field and do what I have to do."
Two possessions later, Henry put Yulee back ahead 14-6 with 2:28 left till half with a 38-yard run down the right side untouched.
"We have been in a lot of big games here over the last couple of years including the Buford game last season," Ramsay said. "We have been in this kind of atmosphere before, we did what we were supposed to do tonight."
Following a Leotis Williams interception on the Gators opening possession of the third quarter, Henry made the Gators pay.
Out of the wildcat formation, Henry rumbled 29-yards for a score down the Hornet sideline for a 21-6 lead four minutes into the second half.
Glades Day gambled on a fourth and ten play on its ensuing drive as a pass intended for Taylor fell incomplete giving the Hornets great field position. Henry capped the 9-play 66 yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown run and 28-6 lead less than two minutes left in the third quarter.
With the game out of reach both Taylor and Henry still remained in the game late in the fourth quarter.
Henry's 19-yard run on a toss sweep play and 26-yard scamper with 2:54 left in the game capped the scoring.
With all the attention the game received online, statewide and national media and ESPN, it was a wonder how Henry might have reacted.
"Of all the kids on the team, Derrick was the only one I wasn't worried about, he knows how to handle all of this," Ramsay said.
With the crazy week over now Yulee (4-1) can finally get back to normal and begin to concentrate on district opponents beginning with Fernandina Beach next Friday.
"It's going to be nice to put all this behind us now and finally get ready for Fernandina Beach and the second half of the schedule.," Ramsay said.