Thursday, May 19, 2022

Derrick Henry congratulates one-handed running back who broke his Florida high school rushing record

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As you can likely imagine, a teenage Derrick Henry against most high school football teams in the state of Florida simply wasn’t a fair fight. Which is why it’s remarkable that this past weekend, one of Henry’s state records fell thanks to Kayleb Wagner of Baker High School. In a 49-48 shootout victory over South Walton High School, Wagner ran for 535 yards and six touchdowns, breaking the state record set in 2012 when Henry ran for 502 yards and six touchdowns in a victory for Yulee.

Wagner’s accomplishment did not go unnoticed, especially not by the man whose record he broke. According to a report by Mitch Stephens of MaxPreps, Wagner received a direct message on Instagram from Derrick Henry congratulating him on breaking his record and promising more to come.

“We went back and forth for five minutes or so,” Wagner told MaxPreps. “He congratulated me, said he would send me a pair of his cleats and game gloves. It was very, very cool. I think it really hit me then that I had the record.”

A 6-foot-1, 205 pound junior, Wagner has become an imposing force in the backfield despite a physical disability: He was born with amniotic band syndrome, a genetic condition that resulted in him being born without a left hand and part of his left forearm. In last week’s win over South Walton, Wagner scored touchdowns on long runs of 83, 91, and 68 yards as Baker stormed back from a 42-35 fourth quarter deficit to take the victory.

Not to be outdone, Henry had his own heroics in the Tennessee Titans‘ Week 2 road upset over the Seattle Seahawks. Imposing his will in the second half, Henry scored three touchdowns — including two in the fourth quarter — and ran for 182 yards as the Titans rallied back from a 24-9 deficit to force overtime and earn a 33-30 victory.

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