MOUNT PLEASANT — Defending Class 3A Division I state champion Henderson used not only its offense and defense, but its special teams in rolling to a 47-28 season-opening victory over the Mount Pleasant Tigers Friday night at Sam Parker Field.
Henderson quarterback Del Barnes threw for 173 yards and two touchdowns and the Lions’ defense capitalized scoring twice – once on a 19-yard fumble return by Patrick Brown just over a minute into the contest, and then later on a 40-yard J’Korrie Centers interception return.
The special teams also got in on the scoring act as LaMarcus Brown returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown.
Barnes’ scoring tosses covered nine yards to Patrick Brown, and 44 yards to Jaime Anthony.
The Lions wrapped up their scoring with a 27-yard run by Diamante Wright.
Henderson led 41-14 at halftime.
The Lions’ defense, playing without the Fletcher brothers who graduated and now play for Tyler Junior College, allowed 456 yards to the Tiger offense – 379 of that came as junior quarterback Montravious James completed 30 of 47 passes for one touchdown. The touchdown was a 79-yard completion to Kaderius Cannon. James added scoring runs of 7, 1 and 5 yards.
Besides Patrick Brown’s fumble recovery for points early in the contest, Nick Henry and Rome Pollard each recovered fumbles and Jay O’Neal collected the other interception for the Lions.
O’Neal, who was shaken up during the game, but returned later, led the Henderson rushing attack with 121 yards. He had runs of 25, 53 and 26 yards.
The Tigers, coming off a disappointing season a year ago, finished with 456 of total offense compared to Henderson’s 419.
Henderson returns home next week to host Pine Tree, while Mount Pleasant travels to Texarkana to play Liberty-Eylau.