When Webster (N.Y.) Schroeder reached the Wilson 3-yard-line late in its 49-8 non-league football game against Wilson (Rochester, N.Y.) on Tuesday night, teammates of running back Jensine Falu-Montes recognized it was a chance for a reward for one of the Warriors reserve players.
The 17-year-old Falu-Montes is one of the team’s smallest players at 5-feet-1 and 121 pounds, and teammates have watched the senior attempt to work through her first varsity season.
“I tell the team that just because you’re third- or fourth-string don’t let up when you are in the game,” Webster Schroeder coach Kali Watkins said. “The team was begging me to give the ball to her.
“The line was fighting me about which side would block.”
Falu-Montes did get the carry and is believed to be the first girl to score a touchdown in the history of Section V varsity football.
“She’s done everything that’s been asked, she hasn’t shied away from contact drills,” Watkins said. “(The players) understand the adversity she’s gone through.
“I think they wanted it more for her than she wanted it for herself.”
Falu-Montes lined up at tailback and spun as she reached the goal line, she stayed upright as her legs continued to drive her into the end zone.
Courtesy Falu Photography
“It’s been very exciting and fun,” he father, Jimmy Falu said this morning. “We had no idea that she was the first female ever to score a varsity touchdown in Section V. We were not expecting all of this commotion that is going on.”
Falu-Montes joins former Dundee kicker Katie Zebrowski in the Section V record books. Zebrowski kicked 10 extra points in a 2009 sectional playoff game.
Falu-Montes, who runs outdoor track in the spring and hopes to make Schroeder’s cheerleading team this winter, did not start playing football until two years ago after a friend challenged her saying that she wouldn’t last two weeks in football gear.
She has done much more than that.
Falu-Montes played on the East Rochester/Gananda junior varsity last season – scoring two touchdowns and a 2-point conversion – before her family moved from Gananda into the Webster school district in January.
Her older brother, Chris, 18, rushed for 133 yards and three touchdowns for East Rochester/Gananda and was named the MVP of the Section V Class B championship game last fall and younger brother Dominic, 15, is a sophomore on the Schroeder junior varsity team.
Falu said he gets nervous watching all of his children play football, but his wife, Tina Montes, does not.
“I’m used to my boys playing and how much they enjoy football,” Montes said. “The same things I see with the boys playing, I see with her. I want her to be able to go out and do the things that she wants to accomplish.”
Both of her parents said Jensine has endured adversity because of her size and gender, but she has not let that affect her desire to play football. She has played in three of Webster Schroeder’s four games this season.
“I love her positive attitude and I love her determination,” he mother said. “The more people that direct negativity toward her, the more she wants to prove them wrong and kick butt.”
“I was really happy on the day she came out of school with the playbook and uniform,” her father said, noting that he wasn’t sure what to expect moving into a larger school district. “I was like, ‘Wow, this is for real.’ “
Just as her touchdown was on Tuesday night.
“It’s not her first time in a game,” Watkins said. “She said one of her dreams was to score a touchdown.”
James Johnson writes for the Democrat and Chronicle, a Gannett property.