Tenilee Anthony has only been on the Kemp football team for a matter of weeks, but for Kemp, she was the most important player on the field as the clock wound down on Friday night.
“Tenilee is a very gifted athlete. She plays basketball and soccer, but she is a natural in everything she tries,”
Kemp head coach Lee Wilkins said. He continued…
“She came to me about four weeks ago, asking if she can try kicking. I will admit, I didn’t think much of it until I saw her kick a football for the first time. She improved each day, so going into Eustace we let her handle the kick-off duties as well.”
However, the first half for Kemp did not go as planned against Eustace as it found itself down 36-20 at the half. The second half started better for the Yellow Jackets as Kemp quarterback Deacon Thompson scored a six-yard rushing touchdown before finding Collin Boyle on the two-point conversion attempt to cut the lead to 36-28. Kemp running back Trent McBride then punched in a touchdown rush from one yard out with nine minutes to go in the game. A failed two-point conversion meant that Kemp still trailed 36-34. It would stay that way until the final play of the game with the ball on the Eustace 18 yard line.
“I knew if we could get the ball inside the 20 yard line, we would have a good opportunity at making the field goal,” Wilkins said. “
To show her state of mind, before going out, [Anthony] told me ‘Bet you a Gatorade I make this.’”
After a timeout by Eustace to try and ice Anthony, her moment in the spotlight arrived.
“It was a perfect snap, perfect hold, and a perfect kick,” Wilkins said.
“That’s Tenilee, she’s a hard worker that just enjoys the moment and makes everyone around her better. I didn’t know if she would make it, but I knew the moment was not too big for her to handle regardless of the outcome.”
Anthony’s clutch 35-yard field goal gave Kemp a 37-36 victory on the night and capped off an impressive second half where it outscored Eustace 17-0. And although Anthony has been on the football team for less than a month, her determination is an inspiration to all as she proved on Friday night that she can certainly be a special teams ace for Kemp moving forward this season
The Yellow Jackets are now 3-3. They’ll look to go over .500 with a win over Groesbeck on the 20th.