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ORANGE COUNTY PREP FOOTBALL

Hensel Makes Big Plays, Leads Kennedy to Victory

September 09, 2000|KELLY MARTINEZ

Kennedy High's Nick Hensel lived he dream of linemen, blocking a punt and intercepting a pass and returning it for a touchdown to help the Fighting Irish defeat Savanna, 20-0, Friday at Western High.

Things looked grim for Kennedy (1-0) after Savanna held the Irish to three yards of offense in the first quarter. Fortunately for Kennedy, Savanna (0-1) was unable to sustain a drive during the first quarter.

Geoff Etherson connected with Alex Vasquez on a 62-yard scoring play to spark Kennedy with 5:56 remaining in the first half, putting the Irish up 7-0.

On Savanna's next possession, Hensel blocked a Rebel punt, giving Kennedy the ball on the Savanna 20 with 3:23 left in the half. Six plays later, Kelvin Beatty's four-yard run put the Irish up, 13-0, at halftime.

Hensel wasn't through yet. With 5:46 remaining, in the game, Hensel intercepted a Brad Thompson pass and ran 25 yards for the score, putting the game out of reach.

Neither team looked impressive offensively. Kennedy gained 163 yards in total offense, with only 49 coming on the ground. Savanna had 135 yards in total offense.

Savanna's best opportunity to score came in the second quarter with the game still scoreless. Michael Gonzalez returned a Kennedy punt 30 yards to the Irish 17. However the drive ended when Ronnie Castaneda's 34-yard field goal attempt missed wide right.

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