Hensold gets her kicks for Vikings
BLOOMINGTON – There was one point in Friday night's Big 12 Conference football game that was a historic moment for Danville's Vikings.
It was at 7 to 7.
It wasn't the fact that Danville was deadlocked with the state's sixth-ranked Class 6A team, Bloomington, less than four minutes into the game that was the significance.
It was the manner in which the tie occurred.
Following a 75-yard third-down pass from Kendall Carter to Derrick Cunningham, senior Janelle Hensold became the first female to score a point for the Vikings' football team.
It happened with 8:24 remaining in the first quarter.
Hensold's place-kick was tougher than most extra-point attempts. A teammate was offside on the first snap, so Danville was assessed a 5-yard penalty.
Her game-tying extra point was a 25-yarder. She was undaunted by the distance.
"I've practiced from there, so I was ready," Hensold said. "They told me to just kick like I do in practice."
Hensold has earned varsity letters in cross-country, basketball and soccer. She's in her first season as a football kicker, and Friday was her first game in uniform.
"It was pretty awesome," she said. "I never thought I'd be playing football, and now I'm doing it. The guys are nice, the coaches are awesome and I'm just learning."
Danville's momentum was short-lived. Bloomington's Dushon Morris returned the ensuing kickoff 69 yards to the Vikings' 4-yard line.
Two plays later, rushing leader Darrelynn Dunn (175 yards) scored the first of his two TDs and the Purple Raiders were in front for good.
Hensold took the field on one more occasion, following Daveon Allen's 50-yard run with 6:23 left in the game.
A bad snap in the rain was fumbled by holder Mario Crosby, who picked up the ball, raced to his left and dove into the end zone for a two-point conversion.
When the play went awry, the 5-foot-10 Hensold was unsure what to do.
"You watch games and think, 'Why didn't they do that?' " she said, "but I didn't know what to do. That was an eye-opener."
Danville coach B.J. Luke commended Hensold for "showing a lot of poise" on her first kick, but said he'll have to talk with her about the later play.
"I want to know why she didn't step in and hit someone," he said.
With sophomore rushing leader Clowzell Adams sidelined while nursing minor injuries, another sophomore was Danville's top rusher. Crosby gained 64 yards on 11 carries.
"I was encouraged by a lot of things tonight," Luke said. "Our kids were physical, and we stood toe-to-toe with a pretty good football team. When Bloomington was up, we fought back (closing within 26-15)."
Friday's first half was played without any rain and Carter completed 5 of 9 passes for 112 yards. The entire second half was played in the rain and Carter was 0 for 8.
Bloomington didn't try a second-half pass. Purple Raiders coach Rigo Schmelzer said Danville's Lamar Briggs made it tough for his team to gain yards on the ground.
"That little nose tackle did a good job of getting a surge," he said. "He was blowing up a couple of our off-tackle power plays."