Henderson shines as Gold blanks Blue 44-0

NEWARK — Nolan Henderson rewrote the Blue-Gold game record book on Saturday night.

And he only needed one half of football to do it.

Smyrna High’s standout quarterback helped lead the Gold to a 44-0 victory over the Blue in the 62nd annual DFRC senior all-star game at Delaware Stadium. It snapped a two-game losing streak for the Gold team.

Henderson broke the record for most passing yards and passing completions before halftime. He finished with 260 yards and 20 completions.

He threw for 250 yards and completed 19-of-29 attempts in the first half alone. He only played one drive in the second half.

The recent Eagles graduate also tied the record for most passing touchdowns with three. It tied Jeff Taylor (1974) and Dutch Hoffman (1977), both of Newark High.

Caesar Rodney’s Najee Whitted celebrates with his Gold teammates after he scored the first TD of the Blue-Gold game Saturday. (Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

The previous record for most passing yards was set in 1995 by Jon Boney of Christiana High with 209.

Henderson was also well past the completion record, previously 11 by Mike Potts of Glasgow High, set in 2003.

It was fitting Henderson’s big night came on the campus of the University of Delaware. Henderson is signed to play quarterback for the Blue Hens next season.

Aside from Henderson’s performance the night will likely also be remembered for a two-hour weather delay that occurred with 33 seconds left in the third quarter. It caused the second half to be abbreviated, playing 12-minute quarters instead of the traditional 15.

Smyrna defensive lineman Jamier Smith takes down Blue quarterback Justin Beneck of Wilmington Friends and forces the ball loose in the first half of the annual Blue-Gold football game at the University of Delaware. (Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

While Henderson’s passing stole the show, it was the ground game that gave the Gold team its first touchdown of the night.

Caesar Rodney’s Najee Whitted opened the scoring with a 2-yard rush. Whitted then pounded home the two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.

Henderson reeled off three-straight touchdowns, two of which went to Glasgow’s Michael Credle. Henderson’s first passing touchdown was for 28 yards across the middle to Dover running back John Castro.

Le’ah Sytles (17) of Woodbridge pressures Blue punter Maverick Jackson into shanking his kick to the right. (Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

Credle’s touchdowns were for 36 and 10 yards.

Henderson’s biggest highlight-reel play of the contest came when he connected deep downfield with Delmar’s Jimmy Adkins. Adkins, who played quarterback in high school, made a one-handed catch near the right sideline for a 49-yard reception.

Glasgow’s Tyrique Woodland scored the lone touchdown in the third quarter on a 3-yard rush. Whitted then converted for two points for the second time to force a running clock.

Gold team getting ready to hit the field for the opening kickoff Saturday. (Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

Appoquinimink’s Kenyon Yellowdy replaced Henderson at quarterback for the Gold in the fourth quarter. He scored a rushing touchdown from 26 yards out and Whitted again scored the two-point conversion before the game was halted with seven minutes remaining.

Meanwhile the Gold defense stifled the Blue all night long. The Gold were led by the Woodbridge High duo of Le’ah Styles and Shymere Vessels.

Styles deflected a punt to set up the first Gold touchdown while Vessels had a pair of sacks. Styles added a sack of his own in the third quarter.

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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