A new school record of 357 passing yards, one three-yard rushing touchdown and four more touchdowns in the air.
And those were just the stats of Havre High’s junior quarterback Justin Jensen in Havre's record-setting win over the whitefish Bulldogs Saturday at Blue Pony Stadium.
Not to mention, he led an offense that racked up over 530 total yards and 10 scores, including eight touchdowns and two field goals, in Jensen’s first prep football game as the team's starting quarterback.
The numbers are impressive at any level, but even more impressive coming from a guy who spent the majority of his time as the junior varsity quarterback last season, starting in only two varsity games.
“It’s always great to come out like that right off the bat and get a big win,” Jensen said. “It was a good boost for our team.”
Before the Blue Ponies season opener on Saturday in Havre, there was talk of this being a rebuilding year.
It had all been said. HHS graduated too many seniors to be a real threat. The Ponies are under a new head coach integrating a relatively new offense and it’s going to take a season to adapt.
But that’s the joy of football. Anything can happen at any given time, and what a team looks like on paper may not be the team that shows up to play. And nobody proved that more than Jensen, wiping away a lot of doubt fans may have had prior to Saturday’s matchup with Whitefish which resulted in a 66-21 Blue Pony win.
“That’s our main goal,” Jensen said, “to win big every time. And as the quarterback that’s what I am going to try and do every game. Knowing that everyone is confident in me this year, I just need to keep that confidence and hopefully go win a state championship.”
It may have been a career game for Jensen, but he hopes there is still more where it came from. And if he remains poised and confident like he did on Saturday, that is probably a safe assumption.
And though Jensen was nervous at the start of the game, it didn’t show. The chemistry and timing Jensen had with his receivers was not that of a first-year varsity quarterback. And going 12-of-16 in the air with no turnovers, Jensen was almost flawless.
Jensen connected with senior wide receiver Corderro Strickland on a 91-yard touchdown pass and junior wide receiver Logan Connor on one for 36 yards, one for 19 and one for 89 yards.
“We all put in a lot of hard work,” Jensen said. “We had two-a-days for two weeks and I think that deserves a lot of the credit.
“Before the game I was just thinking about controlling the huddle and the leadership in that,” Jensen added. “And no turnovers, that was my biggest thing, I didn’t want any turnovers because I knew that would cost us the game.”
Jensen accomplished a lot in his first game as the HHS varsity quarterback and led the Ponies to victory. But with seven games still left on the Blue Pony schedule, Jensen will hopefully have a lot more in store.
The Blue Ponies next play on Sept. 10 at home against Miles City.