Henry’s 99-yard TD run sparks Ten­nessee

San Francisco Chronicle - - FOOTBALL -

Der­rick Henry sped and stiff-armed his way to a record-ty­ing 99-yard touch­down run and the host Ti­tans routed Jack­sonville 30-9 on Thurs­day night to stay in the play­off chase.

And that was just part of an amaz­ing night for Henry.

Henry matched Tony Dorsett’s 99-yarder of Jan. 3, 1983, for Dal­las against Min­nesota for the long­est run in NFL his­tory. Henry ran to his left and went up the side­line, stiff-arm­ing cor­ner­back A.J. Bouye, then rookie line­backer Leon Ja­cobs twice and fi­nally shov­ing line­backer Myles Jack to fin­ish off the TD.

The 2015 Heis­man Tro­phy win­ner, cel­e­brated by strik­ing the Heis­man pose not once, but twice. Dorsett didn’t keep the ball from his run, but Henry said he’d def­i­nitely keep his.

“He’s a le­gend,” Henry said of a fel­low Heis­man win­ner. “It’s cool to be in that com­pany with Tony Dorsett.”

Henry set a fran­chise record with 238 yards on 16 car­ries, top­ping the pre­vi­ous mark of 228 yards set by Chris Johnson in 2009 against, yes, the Jaguars.

Henry fin­ished with a ca­reer-high four TDs, ty­ing Lorenzo White and Hall of Fame run­ning back Earl Camp­bell for most rush­ing TDs in a game in fran­chise his­tory. Henry also be­came the first player in the NFL with four rush­ing TDs in a game since Jonas Gray of the Patriots in Week 11 in 2014.

Ten­nessee head coach Mike Vra­bel called Henry’s night “very im­pres­sive.” Vra­bel noted not ev­ery de­fender can be blocked on ev­ery play, leav­ing the run­ning back to do some­thing.

“He just ran out of guys to stiff-arm,” Vra­bel said.

With the rout and sec­ond win in a row, the Ti­tans (7-6) stayed in AFC play­off con­tention with their fourth straight vic­tory over their old­est divi­sion ri­val. They’ve won six of their past seven against Jack­sonville.

The Jaguars (4-9) have lost eight of their past nine.

Johnson called Henry’s 99-yarder “amaz­ing” and con­grat­u­lated Henry af­ter pass­ing him for the team record.

Mar­cus Mar­i­ota, wear­ing black tape on the back of his right hand, threw for 162 yards. The Ti­tans out­gained Jack­sonville 426 yards to 255, and they also had four sacks.

Jack­sonville came into Thurs­day with the league’s fifth-best scor­ing de­fense af­ter shut­ting out the Colts’ An­drew Luck for the first time in the NFL. Jack­sonville has been sus­cep­ti­ble against the run, ranked 16th giv­ing up 108.4 yards. Henry nearly matched that on his record­ty­ing run.

“For the rest of his life, I’ll be on his high­lights,” Jack­sonville de­fen­sive end Calais Camp­bell said about Henry.

The record-ty­ing TD capped a huge swing over two plays.

Ten­nessee rookie Cameron Bat­son muffed a punt at the Ti­tans’ 7 be­fore re­cov­er­ing at the 1 and be­ing tack­led in the end zone for a safety. The Jaguars took the en­su­ing free kick and drove down­field where they picked up a 4thand-1 at the Ten­nessee 5. Then the Ti­tans stopped the Jaguars on the next four plays, the last with rookie line­backer Rashaan Evans trip­ping up Leonard Four­nette.

On the very next play, Henry started to­ward the mid­dle be­fore turn­ing left for a TD run. Henry had 129 yards on six car­ries with two TDs all by half­time to be­come the Ti­tans’ first 100-yard rusher this sea­son. Be­fore his night ended, he added TD runs of 16 and 54 yards.

Mark Zaleski / As­so­ci­ated Press

Ten­nessee run­ning back Der­rick Henry races for a touch­down as Jack­sonville line­backer Telvin Smith is chas­ing. Henry scored four times, once on a record-ty­ing 99-yard run.

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