Henderson captured its first state title on Friday, downing Chapel Hill 28-21 in the Class 3A Division I state championship game before 20,560 spectators at Cowboys Stadium. Corey Fletcher was named the Defensive Most Valuable Player while Del Barnes earned Offensive MVP honors.
The Henderson defense did what no other Class 3A team could do this season, keep Chapel Hill's high-scoring offense in check. Chapel Hill entered the game averaging 42.8 points per game, but the Bulldogs couldn't stand up to relentless Henderson pressure, with the Lions making 15 tackles for losses. Fletcher had three of Henderson's eight sacks.
Barnes come through when it looked bad for him just a week ago, when he injured his left wrist in a state semifinal win over Alvarado. Wearing a blue cast, Barnes had uncanny accuracy, going 18-for-23 for 149 yards and two touchdowns.
"This was a last-minute decision. We decided on Thursday. I was worried because if my wrist was twisted, it could get hurt more," Barnes said. "My accuracy was my guys running good routes and getting open. It was them.
"We're glad to be the first Henderson team to win state."
While it is the first state crown for Henderson (13-2), it is the second for head coach Dickey Meeks, who won his first championship with Chapel Hill in 1989 at the Class 4A level. Chapel Hill (13-2) was denied its second state title and had a 12-game winning streak snapped going back to a 42-6 loss to Class 4A rival Whitehouse in September.