Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Big plays doom Celina in stunning 42-19 loss to Henderson
MESQUITE — Celina’s undefeated season ended in a big way with big plays by Henderson.
Three scoring plays of at least 49 yards in the first half propelled Henderson to a 42-19 win in the Class 3A Division I Region II final Friday at Memorial Stadium.
Henderson (11-2) was already leading 7-0 in the first quarter when LaMarcus Brown picked up a Celina fumble and raced 60 yards for a score.
Then midway through the second quarter, LaBradford Barnes connected with Jamie Anthony for a 49-yard touchdown pass.
Seconds before halftime, Henderson’s Patrick Brown broke a 49-yard touchdown run for a 28-0 lead.
The three long-range scores, for a combined 158 yards, were enough to hold off Celina (11-1), which did not penetrate the Henderson 20 until midway through the fourth quarter.
Celina briefly established momentum when it received the second-half kickoff and drove to the Henderson 20, only to fumble the ball away.
Celina, ranked No. 5 in Class 3A, later rallied to score all of its points in the final 7:35. Celina was also ranked No. 1 in the final area 3A-2A poll.
Henderson, the defending state champion in 3A-Div. I, will meet Alvarado, the winner of the Region I final against Seminole, in the state semifinals. Alvarado won 42-7.
Patrick Brown added a 52-yard punt return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, his fifth score off a punt return this season.
The fumble and interception returns, combined with Henderson usually operating from a short field, resulted in Celina dominating the total yardage, 396 to 251. Celina also had 23 first downs to Henderson’s 12.
Jay O’Neal scored on a 24-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter to give Henderson a 35-0 lead before Celina answered.
Jamarick Simmons finished a 15-play drive with a 3-yard touchdown plunge to give Celina its first points with 7:35 left.
Brooks Stephenson tossed to Mike Richardson from 14 yards for Celina’s second score, then with 18 seconds left Nathan Elliott hit Lee Nelson with a 7-yard touchdown pass.
Elliott, a freshman, was 27-of-47 passing for 236 yards. He also ran for 31 yards.