Kelvin Taylor, Derrick Henry impress in Yulee's 42-6 win over Glades Day
Friday, September 28, 2012
by Matt Porter
Throw out the final score and judge the two players on their own, and Glades Day's Kelvin Taylor might have been a better running back than Yulee's Derrick Henry on Friday night.
Taylor was quicker, more fluid and had better vision.
Henry, however, was unstoppable.
Taylor put up 223 yards and a touchdown on 36 carries, but Henry ran for 364 yards and all six of Yulee's touchdowns in a 42-6 win in front of an estimated 4,500 fans and a national television audience.
"He's a great running back, they have a fine team, and they whipped us," Glades Day coach Pete Walker said.
Fans filled in every available space at the stadium to watch the state's No. 1 and 2 all-time leading rushers. Taylor said afterward it was the biggest crowd he's ever played in front of. Fred Taylor, Taylor's father and a former Jacksonville Jaguars Pro Bowl running back, and several college and pro players came to watch.
Florida coach Will Muschamp was there to see Taylor, a Gators verbal commitment.
But Henry, who Friday afternoon committed to Alabama, had the public-address announcer shouting "Roll Tide" after his bullish runs.
On a first-quarter, 65-yard touchdown run, he swatted away five Gators defenders like a bunch of flies. On a 39-yard touchdown 2:28 before halftime, he turned the corner and showed impressive speed for a 6-foot-3, 240-pound back.
"He looks like Eddie George," said Fred Taylor of Henry. In college, Taylor said, Henry will be that, "or a (heck) of a D-end."
But Henry, who rushed for a state-record 502 yards last week, plays only tailback for now. He made it 28-6 Yulee with two third-quarter touchdowns of 27 and 5 yards. He stomped through the middle of Glades Day's defense for an 18-yarder with 7:57 left, shaking Gators off his back.
After his final touchdown, a 26-yard romp with 2:48 to go, a helmetless Kelvin Taylor and teammate Calvin Darville sat on Glades Day's bench.
"He's just big, and fast," Darville said. "That's all he is."
"It's a lesson learned," Taylor replied.
Taylor, whose 7-yard first-quarter touchdown was Glades Day's only score, seemed to impress Muschamp, who watched him intently and remarked "good feet" after a first-half rumble through traffic.
Fred Taylor said the loss, which was broadcast on ESPNU, would affect his son for a few days.
"I just wanted do the best I could to try to help my team win," Kelvin Taylor said. "We just came up short."
Taylor added to his state-record career totals in rushing yards (10,765) and touchdowns (166). Henry now has 9,619 yards, second in state history to Taylor and 1,613 behind the national record (11,232).
Taylor, whose eighth-grade season doesn't count toward the national mark, has 9,221 since freshman year, which is 2,011 shy of the record.