Henderson Lions react to first state title

By Coleman Swierc

ARLINGTON, TX (KLTV) - From the very beginning, it seemed like it would be Henderson's night to make history.

The Lions jumped on Chapel Hill 14-0 in the 3A Division I title game and never looked back.

"It is just overwhelming," said Henderson quarterback Del Barnes. "All the hard work and dedication has paid off for our team, we knew we could do it, and we did it."

Barnes, playing with a broken left wrist, fired two touchdowns, and his 3 yarder to LaMarcus Brown with 10 seconds left in the 1st half, gave the Lions a two score cushion.

"We learned how to handle adversity, our quarterback went down last week, we kept our heads up and kept it going," said Brown. "That's why we made it here today, we where here to do what we did today, and bring Henderson its first state championship ever."

Jay O'Neill's 49 yard touchdown in the 3rd, gave Henderson a 28-14 lead.

Chapel Hill responded with a score, and got the ball back.

But as they had all night, the Henderson defense stepped up.

"We had been the underdogs all week, 21 point underdogs, so we were motivated," said linebacker Cord Fletcher. "We knew we were the better team and we showed it for four quarters."

Fletcher and company sacked Bulldogs quarterback Avery Saenz nine times, and held on 4th and 3 with 35 seconds left to seal the deal.

"It has been crazy, but these guys have battled back all year, we never quit," said lineman Michael Acres. "And that is our mentality, that is why we are here, and why we are state champions."

The title is the first for Henderson, who ended the year with a 13-2 record.

*Copyright, KLTV, 2010.