ENNIS — Both Ennis and Dallas Kimball entered Lion Memorial Stadium on Friday night searching for their first win of the season.
Despite the three losses, (1-3) Ennis entered the football game having been outscored by just 19 combined points, which included a one-point loss to South Oak Cliff in week one and a four-point defeat at the hands of Tyler John Tyler the following week.
Needless to say, Friday night was a welcomed “coming-out” party for the Lions in front of their home crowd. Ennis soundly defeated the visiting Dallas Kimball Knights 82-7 in the non-district bout.
The loss to Ennis is just one of four shellackings the Knights have suffered this season, having already been defeated by Dallas Wilson High School (61-6), Dallas Carter (60-7), and Denton Guyer (66-12).
Tycen Thompson, James Harris, Collin Smith and Kyre Holloway each scored two rushing touchdowns while Zion Dove added one on his game-high 91 yards rushing. Ennis quarterback Kade Graff also tossed two touchdowns on a night where he finished 7-of-11 for 123 yards through the air.
Ennis will now turn its focus on Del Valle for a road non-district matchup next Friday, Sept. 29. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Kimball received the opening kickoff and promptly fumbled the ball on the second play from scrimmage. This was quite a foreboding start to the night for the Knights.
The Lions took over on their guests’ 33-yd line. From there, their first possession became the Tycen Thompson show, who ended the game with 85 rushing yards on eight carries. First, he raced for nine yards, then for 12 more yards down to the 1-yard line of Kimball. On first-and-goal, Thompson finished the Lions’ drive when he romped into the end zone just two minutes into the first quarter. The extra point was good off of the foot of Trevor Oakley for a 7-0 Ennis lead.
After a Kimball three-and-out, James Harris (4-76) scored a nifty 22-yard touchdown run on the third play of the possession.
The next set of downs for the Knights didn’t help their cause either. This time on a 2nd and 11, Ennis’ Kevion Gabriel intercepted the pass of quarterback Jamel McWilliams and was brought down on the Kimball 22-yard line. Thompson scampered into the end zone a few plays later for another Ennis touchdown and 21-0 Ennis lead.
The only score of the evening for Kimball came with 2:51 left in the first quarter when McWilliams lofted a pass to Jalen Warren, who caught the 42-yard perfectly-thrown ball in stride and galloped into the end zone. The touchdown came with 2:51 to play on the first-quarter clock.
Ennis’ Thompson again showed some excellent moves by returning the ensuing kickoff 76 yards for another touchdown for Ennis.
With more bad luck coming their way, the Knights tried to field the ball as Ennis kicked-off, but their return man bobbled the ball, which resulted in yet another turnover.
This time the Lions started on the Knights’ 13-yard line. On 2nd-and-10, Jarius Jones got into the action by catching a 13-yard touchdown pass from Graff for a 35-7 Ennis lead with just over two minutes to play in the first quarter.
A poor Kimball punt early in the second quarter led to Ennis getting the ball back in good field position yet again. Graff capitalized when he launched a perfect 27-yard pass to his wide receiver, Dylan Santos, for a 42-7 Ennis lead with 11:09 to play in the second quarter.
By halftime, the game was completely out of hand. Ennis seemingly drove the field at will, and Kimball could not muster much of a drive at all during their brief possessions.
The Ennis defense forced three first-half turnovers that resulted in 21 points. Ennis defensive standouts included defensive lineman Manny Ramirez, linebacker K.D. Davis, and defensive back Kevion Gabriel.