HENDERSON – Henderson's Matthew Childers scored six touchdowns as the Lions blanked Palestine 41-0 in a District 9-4A Division I game in rainy, windy conditions at Lion Stadium. The game was called at halftime because of multiple lightning strikes in the area.

Childers did most of his damage on the ground game while playing quarterback, scoring five rushing touchdowns, although he also saw time at receiver and cornerback. The 6-4, 181-pound junior led his team in rushing yards (168), receiving yards (25) and sharing the passing yards lead at 25 with Trae Hall.

Childers even led his team in interception return yards with 53 coming on a pick of a Claude Rodgers pass that he returned for a touchdown on the final play of the abbreviated game.

Henderson (6-2, 1-2) rebounded from losses to Carthage and Brownsboro. Palestine (1-7, 0-3) dropped its sixth consecutive game, losing by shutouts in three of its last four contests.

Henderson and Childers scored touchdowns on all five of their drives. The Lions moved 71 yards on its opening drive, capped by a 6-yard scoring run by Childers.

Palestine tried to counter the early momentum by going for it on a fourth-and-2 at the Henderson 46-yard line on its opening drive, but Irric Deyon was stopped for no gain by Henderson linebacker Cadarius Caldwell. Childers ran it in from 21 yards six plays later to give Henderson a 12-0 lead as the Lions couldn't convert their first two extra-point attempts.

Childers ended a 72-yard drive on Henderson's third possession with a 7-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter, then ran in a 2-point conversion to give the Lions a 20-0 lead. Palestine's third drive was its best of the first half as the Wildcats moved 39 yards and converted two fourth down conversions, but the drive died at the Henderson 37-yard line.

Three plays later Childers sprinted 34 yards for a touchdown to give Henderson a 27-0 lead with 3:41 left in the second quarter. A 6-yard Palestine punt set up Henderson on Palestine's 39-yard line on its next drive and Childers had a 13-yard touchdown run with 1:08 left in the third quarter.

Henderson was successful without two of its best offensive players. Leading rusher LaKendrick Vanzandt and leading receiver Tariq Gray were out because of injuries. Henderson had eight starters out because of injuries or other reasons.

Henderson linebacker Jaxon Goode had three tackles for losses. Palestine linebacker Edward Reese led all players with four tackles while Jhamonte Milton and Roderick Deyon had three tackles apiece.
Henderson plays at Chapel Hill next Friday while Palestine hosts Carthage.