The trend has continued this year, with Hensley averaging 211 yards with seven TDs and no interceptions in wins against Nitro and Riverside, and an output of 126 yards with no TDs and two picks in a 23-8 loss to No. 1 Huntington in the season opener.
Second-year Redskins coach Jeremy Taylor points out that some of those numbers are skewed because Hensley hasn't always been permitted to turn it loose, such as Taylor's decision to ride the ground game in last year's first-round playoff loss at George Washington, hoping to limit the touches of Ryan Switzer, the Patriots' two-time Kennedy Award-winning tailback.
"I think Austin is probably tired of hearing that he doesn't throw well against playoff teams,'' Taylor said, "with the exception of the Capital game last year - he had a great game [25 of 37, 204 yards, one TD, two INTs]. In a lot of those games, you're playing against good defenses and you don't expect to throw for 300 or 400 yards per game against an excellent defense - that's crazy.
"Sometimes the talent's overwhelming, and teams have gotten away with that a few times. I'll tell you what I'm tired of seeing - [powerhouse] teams in the first round of the playoffs.''
Hurricane's last two postseason exits have come against GW.
Taylor is also fully aware that the Redskins in general need to do better against better teams.
Hurricane is 12-0 against teams with losing or .500 records since 2011, and 4-10 versus teams with winning marks, beating Capital and Logan last year and Spring Valley and Elkins in 2011. (Hensley had one of his best games in the latter, a first-round playoff win, throwing for 230 yards and three TDs against one pick and running for 65 yards and one score.)
"We've had some trouble against the better teams,'' Taylor said. "I think that's something for the kids to shoot for, to prove some people wrong. You beat the teams you're supposed to beat, and you hope you win enough of those tossup games. Winning takes care of everything. I think we're a top-10 team. The kids have got to prove it.''
The Redskins (2-1) host Princeton (2-1) Friday.
Sissonville's gotten off to a 3-0 start by riding a rushing attack that cranks out 355 yards a game. That's despite injuries to the team's two biggest linemen.
Freshman starting center Zach Kerns (6-foot-1, 265 pounds) hurt his knee during preseason drills and junior right tackle Clay Whitney (5-10, 240), a three-year starter, broke his foot in practice two weeks ago.
That's moved sophomore Chase Adams into the lineup, and coach Eddie Smolder has been forced to shuffle some other players around.
"You never know what's going to happen,'' Smolder said, "but we've had some other guys step up and fill in. They're getting better as a group, but we've got to keep working.''
Smolder is hopeful both Kerns and Whitney will return sometime this season.
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.