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Yulee, Fla. - It was a grand night for a high school football game in north Florida on Friday night as five-star running back Derrick Henry and Yulee hosted high four-star running back Kelvin Taylor and Belle Glades Glades Day. There was a full moon and an absolutely packed house to watch two of the nation's finest running back prospects go against each other. In fact, both Henry and Taylor are chasing a slew of state and national records as well as eachother.
In the end, the massive Henry stole the show, rushing for 369-yards and six touchdowns, in routing the Gators. Henry, who committed to Alabama on Friday afternoon, celebrated in grand style. He scored on runs of 65, 37, 30, 5, 19 and 26-yards.
"That was a great game," said Henry after another huge night. "We were on national T.V. and we won 42-6. All the credit goes to my teammates, especially the defense. They played great tonight. And this was big for us because we were 0-2 on national T.V. coming into this game. I am proud of our victory.
"Today was about closure, especially with my commitment to Alabama. Now I can really focus on helping us win state."
Great, that's all Henry needs now is focus. That could spell doom for Yulee's opposition between now and mid-December, as Henry continues his assault on the record books. The previous week he rushed for Florida state record 502-yards and six touchdowns. For the season he has 1,760 yards and 23 touchdowns in Yulee's first five games. Former University of Tennessee standout and NFLer Travis Henry (Frostproof, Fla.) holds the single season state record with 4,003 yards but this mark could be in serious jeapordy if he continues at this pace. Henry now has a state record 39 consecutive 100-yard games and is closing in on 10,000 career yards and the national career mark which stands at 11,232. Henry now has 9,723 yards.
The thing that's so impressive with Henry is the defense knows what's coming and they still can't stop him. He's a freight train who happens to be 6-foot-3 and 243-pounds. He had 35-carries on the night and one reception and didn't seem to lose a step in the second half or late in the game. Henry runs with power and has a mean stiff arm. Henry is a long strider with deceptive speed and athleticism. He can change directions for a big back and has nice balance and vision. Sure he runs high but what 6-3 running back wouldn't?
At the end of the day Henry is not the most graceful of backs you will ever see. But he's literally a physical workhorse that won't be denied and who gets the job done. Henry has super endurance and seems to be just one of those guys that gets stronger as the game unfolds.
The Gator bound Taylor finished with a quietest 235 rushing yards I have ever seen. His longest run was 37-yards and he also had runs of 30, 21, 20 and 19-yards. In his defense the Yulee defense did a nice job most of the night surrounding him and not really letting Taylor get loose.
Like Henry, Taylor had 35 rushing attempts and he also caught two passes out of the backfield. He had the Gators lone score on a short run in the first quarter. He was still impressive. He runs with speed and power. Taylor is blessed with outstanding instincts, vision and balance. He also does a very nice job of following and hugging his blockers when hitting the hole or taking things outside.
But what sets Taylor apart is his feet. He has tremendously quick feet and it's that quickness that sets up everything he does.
Taylor, the son of former Gator great and future Hall of Famer, running back Fred Taylor, has more career yards than Henry. But that's factoring in his 8th grade season where he played on the Glades Day varsity. If you count that year Taylor has amassed 10,817 career rushing yards. If you only include his freshman season to present Taylor has 9,233 career yards. Taylor has 171 career touchdowns and Henry now has 120.
Below are Henry and Taylor highlights from Glades Day/Yulee game this past Friday.