BY JIMMY HICKS
Henderson fell behind in the first half, but did not panic and used its playoff experience to score the final 34 points of the contest.
The Lions used their superior speed to defeat Van 48-21 in a Class 3A Division II bi-district contest at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
Henderson (7-4) now faces the winner of the North Lamar and Quinlan Ford next week in the area round. Van completes its season with a 9-2 record.
The Vandals scored 21 consecutive points in the second period to take a 21-14 advantage with 9:14 left before halftime on Bryce Krumvieda’s 47 yard interception return for a touchdown.
Henderson took the ensuing kickoff and marched 65 yards in seven plays capped off by Diamante Wright 13 yard scamper with 5:44 left before intermission and William Mann added a 23-yard field goal with 19 seconds left to give the Lions a 24-21 halftime lead.
Henderson jumped out to a 14-0 advantage on two Patrick Brown runs of nine and 34 yards with 2:55 left in the opening period.
That is when the Vandals made a push.
The Vandals drove 71 yards on nine plays and scored when Matt Savis took a handoff 16 yards down the Lion sideline to cut the deficit to 14-7 with 11:16 left in the second quarter.
On the next possession, Van senior defensive player Krumvieda had the best couple minutes of his life when he recovered a Lion fumble that led to a Hunter Hopkins’ 14 yard touchdown run and his interception return for touchdown in a span of 38 seconds for a 21-14 Van advantage with 9:14 to go in the second period.
The Lions used their ground game in the second half to produce touchdown runs from Wright (25-187) and Brown.
Kenny McCown put the icing on the cake with 2:02 left in the contest when ran back an interception 16 yards for the final score.
Quarterback Garrett Smallwood finished the night with 71 yards on the ground and Hopkins added 63 yards rushing for the Vandals.
Brown led the Lions with 192 yards on the ground and three rushing touchdowns.
Ta’Ondrick Thurkill had a fumble recovery on the second half kickoff, but the Lions was unable to score thanks to two behind the line of scrimmage tackles by Sid Moore.
Henderson 48, Van 21
A17t Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium
Henderson 14 10 7 17 — 48
Van 0 21 0 0 — 21
H—Patrick Brown 9 run (William Mann kick), 10:02
H—Brown 34 run (Mann kick), 2:55
V—Matt Savis 16 run (Frankie Grijalva kick), 11:16.
V—Hunter Hopkins 14 run (Grijalva kick), 9:52.
V—Bryce Krumvieda 47 interception return (Grijalva kick), 9:14.
H—Diamante Wright 13 run (Mann kick), 5:44.
H—Mann 23 FG, :19.
H—Wright 24 run (Mann kick), 6:47.
H—Mann 20 FG, 10:20.
H—Brown 27 run (Mann kick), 6:46.
H—Kenny McCown 16 interception return (Mann kick), 2:02.
EST. ATT. —2350.
First Downs 24 18
Rushes-Yards 49-397 32-170
Passing Yards 103 170
Comp.-Att.-Int. 6-10-1 13-34-2
Punts-Avg. 2-36 2-27
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 4-2
Penalties-Yards 4-30 6-41
RUSHING—Henderson, Mikel Lewis 2-15, Diamante Wright 25-187, Patrick Brown 19-192, Jamal Kind 2-13, Janson Moore 1-(-10). Van, Hunter Hopkins 8-63, Sid Moore 4-19,Garrett Smallwood 15-71, Matt Savis 4-17.
PASSING—Henderson, Brown 4-5-1 81, Moore 3-5-0 22. Van, Smallwood 13-34-2 170.
RECEIVING—Henderson, Tre’ Hollins 2-59, Wright 1-8, Brown 2-22, Lewis 1-14. Van, Savis 2-11, Andrew Platter 4-47, Carson Rucker 3-45, Luke McGowan 4-67.