A Polk County Middle School coach joked Thursday that he might need to ask Nate Henderson for his autograph.
Scoring four touchdowns will make a guy popular.
Henderson ran for three scores and hauled in a pass for another as Polk Middle earned its first win of the season, shutting out Brevard Middle 26-0 on a steamy afternoon at Polk.
The Wolverines (1-2) led 6-0 most of the half before taking full command of the game in the final moments of the second period and early minutes of the third.
Brevard Middle (0-3) put together its best drive of the day in the waning minutes of the first half, the Blue Devils reaching the red zone before Polk made a fourth-down stop at its 9.
Rather than run out the clock, Polk Middle head coach Ethan Edwards dialed up a pass play, and quarterback Shane Parris found Tyler Staley open over the middle for 28 yards. Parris then lofted a long pass down the middle of the field for Henderson, who snared the ball and outraced the Brevard defense for a 63-yard touchdown with 44 seconds left in the half. A successful 2-point try capped the two-play, 91-yard drive and gave the Wolverines a 14-0 advantage.
Brevard them fumbled on its opening play of the third period, and Polk scored again two plays later, Henderson reaching the end zone on a 28-yard run that gave the Wolverines a 20-0 lead.
Henderson scored his final touchdown on a 21-yard run midway through the fourth quarter to round out the scoring.
Polk Middle begins a three-week road trip next Thursday, traveling to Apple Valley for a 5 p.m. game. The Wolverines aren’t slated to play again at home until Oct. 6, when Polk hosts Hendersonville Middle.