Hendersonville’s season came to a close on Friday with a convincing 41-7 victory at Hunters Lane.
The Commandos did not get the necessary help to clinch a Class 5A playoff spot, so Hendersonville finishes with a 7-3 record.
Three things from the Commandos’ victory:
Hendersonville took care of things early, building a 27-0 lead throughout the first two quarters and never looking back. Luke Carver capped off a seven-play, 64-yard opening drive with a 4-yard touchdown run.
The Commando defense played a huge part as well, with two interception returns for touchdowns. On the ensuing Hunters Lane possession, Clay Richard picked off a Sylvester Buford pass and took it back for a 72-yard score. Later in the half, Eric Tilson made a read on a fake field goal to return an interception for a 90-yard score.
In the second half, junior Anthony Hughes got involved with two scores, first on a two-yard touchdown run, and later on the receiving end of a 31-yard pass from backup quarterback Justin Ernst.
Odd team out
Despite the victory and a 7-3 overall record, Hendersonville drew the short end of the stick in Region 6-5A, finishing in fifth place and out of the TSSAA playoffs. The Commandos were counting on help from a Hillsboro loss to Beech, but it did not come. Two of Hendersonville losses in their region, to Cane Ridge and Beech, came by only one point.
“A game like this can be a huge distraction when you don’t control your own fate,” head coach Bruce Hatfield said. “They hung in there and gave up a little bit of yardage, but we had so good scores on special teams and defense so we’re proud of our guys. Through some of the adversity that we’ve had to respond to, I’m just glad to see them hang in there and that they kept doing the things that we’ve asked them to do. “
The win marks the end of the career for a Hendersonville senior class of 27 players. The group were part of teams that amassed a combined 27-7 record over three years of varsity football, with two playoff wins.
“I wouldn’t trade these guys for the world,” senior tight end Jordan Amis said. “They’re my brothers. I’ve been with them since seventh grade and freshman year, and I just love these guys. This season’s not an upset. It’s just football. There’s only one team that can win it on a high note and that’s to win state. I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this program and I love it here.”