HENDERSON -- The Henderson Lions came into Friday night's District 16-3A showdown against Bullard with a clear objective: run the football until it stops working.

It never did.

Senior standout Patrick "Monster" Brown, playing quarterback for most of the night, rushed for 158 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Lions to a 24-14 victory over Bullard at Lion Stadium in the ETSN.fm Dairy Queen Game of the Week.

"Since we changed from using two quarterbacks, we're running the ball a little bit more," Henderson coach Dickey Meeks said. "With Monster back there, he presents a threat all the time."

Added Brown: "I become comfortable by having the ball in my hands. I know if I have the ball in my hands ... I don't believe anybody can stop me."

Henderson running back Diamante Wright added 106 yards and a touchdown for the Lions (5-3, 3-1), who finished with 386 rushing yards and took a firm grasp of the third and final playoff spot from the District of Doom.

J'Korrie Centers busted a couple of big runs and finished with 81 yards for Henderson, which held almost a 3-1 edge in time of possession on Bullard (6-2, 2-2).

"We had to come out here and show them that they couldn't stop our run game," Brown said. "We don't have to throw the ball if we don't need to throw the ball. If they can't stop the running game, then what's the point of us putting it in the air?"

Sophomore running back Brentavian Henderson provided a spark for the Panthers with 105 yards and two touchdowns on just six carries. Colton Mebane passed for 112 yards and ran for 41.

"I felt like they played really hard," Bullard coach Shannon Wilson said of his team's performance. "We had to play at a high level and make plays in all three phases. We missed a few tackles out on the edge, gave a few creases, but they played hard."

After both team's first drives of the night stalled, Henderson got on the board first by marching 81 yards in 14 plays. Brown's 10-yard run ended the 6:51 drive and put the Lions up 7-0 with 11:07 remaining in the second quarter.

It didn't take long for Bullard to answer. Henderson took the handoff on second down and raced around the right side and sprinted untouched 70 yards for the game-tying score.

Henderson used a 27-yard run from Brown and a 20-yarder by Wright to set up the Lions' next score -- a 1-yard run by Wright, which put Henderson up 14-7 with 6:37 remaining in the half.

Bullard went three-and-out on its next possession, thanks to a pair of tackles for loss by Henderson senior defensive end Bo Brady. A 50-yard run by Centers set up Brown's 4-yard scoring run that put Henderson up 21-7 with 3:06 to go until halftime.

"Offensively, we kind of hurt ourself a little on first down," Wilson said. "We got into some bad down and distance situations. When you're playing a really good team like Henderson ... you've got to play at a productive level in all three phases."

Bullard plays host to Gilmer (7-1, 4-0) next week, while Henderson faces fourth-ranked Kilgore (7-0, 4-0) on the road. The Panthers close the season against Spring Hill (3-6, 1-4) in two weeks, while the Lions finish with Gladewater (3-5, 0-4).

---

Henderson 24, Bullard 14
At Lion Stadium, Henderson
Bullard               0    7    0    7    --    14
Henderson         0   21    3    0    --    24
Second Quarter
HEN--Patrick Brown 10 run (William Mann kick), 11:07.
BUL--Brentavian Henderson 70 run (Weston Gray kick), 10:23.
HEN--Diamante Wright 1 run (Mann kick), 6:37.
HEN--Brown 4 run (Mann kick), 3:06.
Third Quarter
HEN--FG Mann 24, 1:36.
Fourth Quarter
BUL--Henderson 11 run (Gray kick), 1:31.

                                      BUL               HEN
First Downs                        13                   21
Rushes-Yards               25-169            58-386
Passing Yards                    112                  18
Comp.-Att.-Int.              8-20-0              3-4-0
Punts-Avg.                     4-34.5            3-29.0
Fumbles-Lost                      0-0                 4-1
Penalties-Yards                   1-5                8-65

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHING--Bullard, Brentavian Henderson 6-105, Colton Mebane 15-41, Houston Alexander 3-16, Haden Bryant 1-7. Henderson, Patrick Brown 25-158, Diamante Wright 19-106, J'Korrie Centers 5-81, Jamal Kind 5-31, Tre' Hollins 1-9, Randy Davis 1-5, Janson Moore 2-(-4).
PASSING--Bullard, Mebane 8-19-0--112, Connor Mebane 0-1-0--0. Henderson, Brown 3-4-0--18.
RECEIVING--Bullard, Bryant 2-39, Alexander 2-41, Sal Guilliano 1-32, Zack Holladay 1-11, Connor Mebane 1-9, Henderson 1-7. Henderson, Moore 1-14, Jamie Anthony 1-3, Hollins 1-1.

KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News