Morristown, Tenn. (WATE) — In 2019, the Morristown East Hurricanes were close to claiming a win over cross-town rivals in Morristown West, but turnovers and penalties cost them big time. Fast forward to 2020, after six years of losing to the Trojans the Canes finally claimed victory after a close contest; an achievement senior quarterback Cole Henson has been working towards in his high school career.
“It was great,” said Henson. “That was probably one of the better feelings I’ve ever had.”
Henson not only helped lead his team to victory but continued to etch his name in the school’s record books.
The quarterback completed 30 of 41 passes, a single-game record, for 486 yards, a single-game record, and five touchdowns, another single-game record.
He also passed his old career benchmark in passing yards totaling 4, 281 surpassing ETSU head football coach Randy Sanders who used to hold the record.
Hurricanes head coach Caleb Slover says he expected Henson to have a big game but did not expect him to explode the way that he did.
“Obviously a huge night like that doesn’t come around very often but what a great time to do it,” said Slover.
Whether it’s a shovel pass to get a first down or a deep ball into the back of the end zone, Henson’s ability to make big-time plays is what makes him stand out.
“It’s easy to look at Cole and say, ‘Alright, pick us up. We got to make a play, we got to do something here,’ and I feel confident that he can come off the bench and do it at any time,” said Slover. “It’s incredible, just the way he competes, he always wants to do right. Nothing to him is good enough. I think that what drives him to be really good.”
Henson has plenty of playmakers in the receiving corps but in their game against Morristown West junior Micah Simpson was his go-to target.
Simpson also broke a school record catching four touchdown passes for 208 yards. Both playing basketball together, Simpson credits their chemistry n the gridiron to their relationship on the court.
“Honestly, I think it’s the basketball connection,” said Simpson. “We play basketball, both starting, just a connection we have.”
Simpson is an all-state basketball player and has only been playing football for the past couple of months after giving up the sport to focus on basketball in high school. However, his new-found success in football does not come as a surprise to Slover knowing how competitive Simpson is by nature.
“He wants to win at everything he does, and he goes out and he plays that way,” said Slover. “He’s only been here for a couple of months so learning the offense and picking up how to cut off routes and do everything, you can see him grow week by week and he’s only going to get better.”
Morristown-East (2-2) faces another challenging team in week seven with a regional opponent in Daniel Boone (1-3). Kickoff is set for 7:30 P.M. on October 2.
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