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Archive for Sunday, November 7, 1993

JUNE HENLEY SIDEBAR

November 7, 1993

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Glen Mason's dance card was filled with June Henley's name. All except the last dance, that is.

The freshman tailback carried 13 times during Kansas' stirring 17-play touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter against Nebraska.

Yet Henley wasn't on the field when the Jayhawks went for the two-point conversion that would have given Kansas its first win over Nebraska in a quarter of a century.

"Yeah, a little bit," Henley said when asked if he was disappointed he had to watch the decisive play, "but coach had to make a decision and you can't go against coaches. I think they were probably thinking they (Nebraska) were keying on the run."

Henley, who has come on like gangbusters during the last month, carried the ball a bruising 37 times for 148 yards Saturday.

Customarily, he alternates with L.T. Levine at tailback, but Levine didn't suit up because of a groin injury, so Henley pulled, in effect, double duty.

Only once during that late drive, he said, did he want to come out.

"I hurt my neck on the play before the touchdown," he said. "They told me to suck it up, and I said, 'I'm all right.'"

He was definitely OK after his three-yard TD with :52 showing brought the Jayhawks within one, and he was hoping for additional duty because the KU playbook contains some two-point conversion sets involving the tailback.

"Every week we change it up a little bit," Henley said.

Henley went head-to-head with the Big Eight's most acclaimed running back and came out second-best statistically. Nebraska's Calvin Jones gained 195 yards on 29 carries.

Nevertheless, Henley continues to lead the Big Eight in total rushing yardage. Saturday's 148-yard effort boosted his total to just 54 yards shy of 1,000.

Jones, a junior who missed three games and most of a fourth with an injury, now has 753 yards. That total ranks second to Henley's 946.

Jones is expected to turn pro after this season, and that might make Henley the Big Eight's premier returning ball-carrier next season.

Regardless, Henley said he's anxious to play Nebraska again.

"I think they got lucky on this one," the 5-11, 190-pounder from Columbus, Ohio, said. "We'll get 'em next year."

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