A bit of Hennessey’s football present combined with the future last Friday night.
And although the Eagles’ season came to an end, they didn’t exactly go quietly and also shed a positive light on what’s still to come.
Kellyville dominated the third quarter to pull away from Hennessey in a 60-26 home victory in the first round of the Class 2A playoffs.
It put to end a Hennessey season that saw a COVID quarantine, its first win since 2018 and its first win streak since 2017.
“We had a good stretch midway through the season,” said second-year head coach Paul Hix.
The Eagles finished 3-6 overall, but got their wins during a four-game stretch, including two in a row.
Kellyville, though, wasn’t falling prey to the Eagles’ upset bid.
Still, Hennessey didn’t just hand over the win.
In his Eagle swan song, senior Jay Jech threw for 249 yards and four touch-downs.
All of his passing targets were underclassmen, including freshman Weston Smith, who hauled in eight passes for 168 yards and two scores.
Langston Smith, a sophomore, also had two TD receptions.
They helped the Eagles keep pace early.
Kellyville scored twice in the game’s first five minutes before Langston Smith hauled in a 28-yard pass from Jech near the end of the first.
The Ponies struck next, but Weston Smith got his first score on a 17-yard pass from Jech at 5:46 of the second.
That pulled Hennessey within 21-12.
But Kellyville took over the next two quarters of game clock as they scored 39 straight points to lead 60-12 entering the fourth.
Jech hit both Smiths again before the end of the night.
He found Langston on a 5-yard pass with 1:46 to play and then connected with Weston for a 64-yard TD on the game’s final play.
Jech completed 15 of 27 attempts.
The Ponies’ defense was able to limit Hennessey to 2.3 yards a carry, but Keigen Crites, a junior, tallied 78 yards on 25 carries.
He also caught a trio of passes for 32 yards.
Brandon Mendoza added two receptions for 16 yards.
Juan Castanon led the team with seven tackles.
In the end, though, Hennessey just couldn’t keep up with the Ponies. The loss was indicative of the season.
“We played a physical brand of football on both sides, but we really caught the injury bug and kind of ran out of gas at the end,” Hix said of 2020.
Both Smiths, Crites, Mendoza, Castanon and a slew of other Eagles return next season, which gives reason for optimism.
“We return the majority of our team and feel pretty good about next year,” Hix said.
Hennessey 6 6 0 14 - 26
-Kellyville 14 21 25 0 - 60
K - Trevor Jones 65 run (Justin Miles kick)
K - Miles 5 pass from Colton Ayers (Miles kick)
H - Langston Smith 28 pass from Jay Jech (pass failed)
K - Ayers 5 run (Miles kick)
H - Weston Smith 17 pass from Jech (run failed)
K - Jeramy Hicks 3 run (Miles kick)
K - Ayers 3 run (Miles kick)
K - Tayver Thornbrugh 49 pass from Ayers (Miles kick)
K - Jones 42 run (kick failed)
K - Ayers 35 run (kick failed)
K - Jones 47 run (kick failed)
H - Langston Smith 5 pass from Jech (Jech run)
H - Weston Smith 64 pass from Jech
(Ed. note: Due to an error by the Times & Free Press sports writer, the wrong information was used in last Wednesday’s edition regarding Hennessey’s playoff loss to Kellyville. This story includes the correct information.)