Four catches for 73 yards, three touchdown receptions, and one interception return for touchdown. Those were the numbers put up by Gainesville High School’s senior wide receiver, and recent University of Florida commit, Chris Thompson in the first half of the Hurricanes’ 51-28 victory over the Yulee Hornets on Thursday night at Citizen’s Field in Gainesville.
The Class 6A No. 3 Hurricanes’ offense looked spectacular in the opening half of the game, moving the ball with ease on the ground and through the air. Gainesville headed into the locker room at halftime with a 35-7 lead. Thompson accounted for four of the Hurricanes’ five first half touchdowns. He says his success can partly be attributed to the work he and Gainesville quarterback Mark Cato put in over the summer, and adds he expects them both to get better.
However the second half was a bit of a different story.
While Gainesville maintained its lead, it was outscored by Yulee by five points in the second half thanks to the performance of Hornets five-star running back Derrick Henry. After carrying the ball 18 times for 103 yards in the first half, which included an 80 yard touchdown run, Henry continued use his agility and power to show the fans in attendance why he is being recruited by the likes of Alabama and Tennessee. The 6’3″ 240-pound back went off in the second half, scoring two touchdowns of 70 and 80 yards and finishing the game with more then 300 yards rushing.
Gainesville head coach James Thomson talks about what makes Henry so difficult to stop.
While Coach Thomson was happy with his team’s overall performance, he was not pleased with its lack of ball security in the second half. The Hurricane’s fumbled the ball three times after halftime and Thomson says his team can’t continue to turn the ball over if they want to be successful.
The Hurricanes now move on to play Class 6A No. 5 Columbia High School next week. That game will also be played on Thursday.