Henderson shatters Blue-Gold records, eyes Blue Hen career

NEWARK — It’s safe to say Nolan Henderson has mastered playing at Delaware Stadium as a high schooler.

The next challenge for the recent Smyrna High grad is doing that as a college player.

The University of Delaware quarterback signee had a banner day Saturday night in the 62nd Blue-Gold senior football all-star game, helping lead the Gold to a 44-0 victory.

Henderson annihilated the game’s record book, breaking the marks for most completions and passing yards in the first half alone. He also threw three touchdowns to tie that record.

Henderson finished with 260 yards and 20 completions, and nearly all of those were done in the first half. Henderson only played one drive in the second half, where he had just one pass for 10 yards.

Smyrna quarterback Nolan Henderson hands off to Dover’s John Castro at Blue-Gold All-Star Media Day at the University of Delaware. (Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

It was the third time Henderson played on the University of Delaware field. He improved to 3-0 — his previous two wins were both Division I state championships over Salesianum in 2015 and Middletown this past year.

In the Middletown victory, Henderson was not asked to pass much as Smyrna went with a run-heavy attack to down the Cavaliers. On Saturday, the Gold team played a much more open game, but Henderson said his goal was still the same, just earn the victory.

“I didn’t really think about breaking any records or my yards,” Henderson said. “In the (2016) championship game I had like six yards passing and we won. That was the same mindset. I had a great receiving core, the line gave me plenty of time. I knew any record would be in jeopardy with this group together.”

Not only did Henderson break all of the records, he also was awarded the game’s Most Valuable Player award.

Yet Henderson said the off-the-field aspects of the Blue-Gold game is what will stick with him.

“It’s cool to leave a legacy,” Henderson said. “It’s going to be in that program that’s handed out. But mostly I’ll remember the relationships we made. From hating Middletown, to them being one of the closest groups we had here. That’s what I’ll remember the most.”

It wasn’t just Henderson who was setting records.

The previous game-high for receptions was seven and two Gold receivers surpassed that. Glasgow’s Michael Credle, who is headed for Delaware State, is now the record-holder with 10 catches.

Credle caught a pair of touchdowns and recorded 116 yards. Middletown’s Anthony Delpercio had nine receptions (63 yards).

“I think when you have talented guys who are willing and ready to learn it’s always possible,” said Smyrna High and Gold coach Mike Judy. “I did not even know what the records were we just wanted to play and come out on top. For these kids it was a great experience.”

Henderson now has a few weeks off before he moves in at Delaware July 9.

“Each time I come to this field I get a little more comfortable with it,” Henderson said. “From the Salesianum final, to the Middletown final, to now, I’m more comfortable and the talent level keeps going up with who I’m throwing to.”

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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