WACO, Texas - Ennis is known around the state for its state championships and legendary offense.
If the Lions are going to win a fifth state title, it may be with a play-making defense as Ennis forced nine turnovers Friday in a season-opening 48-0 win over University at Waco ISD Stadium
Ennis’ defense started its domination early, intercepting the first play of the game.
“That was a heck of a way to start,” Lion head coach Sam Harrell said. “We never seemed to ease up and kept getting after them. We knew it was going to be tough for people to throw on our cornerbacks and it was.”
Ennis intercepted five passes off University sophomore quarterback Ricky Price and recovered four of the Trojans’ six fumbles.
The nine turnovers helped the Lions’ offense get started as Chris Lewis, who finished with 246 passing yards and one touchdown, guided Ennis to a 34-0 halftime lead.
“When the defense plays well, we play well,” Lewis said. “That was a tremendous way to get things started. When the defense plays like that it gets (the offense) excited and we want to match what they did.”
After Deonte McDade’s interception on the first play, the Lions got a field goal from Ivan Solis to take a 3-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.
University’s offense struggled mightily in the first half as six of their eight possessions before halftime resulted in turnovers.
The Lions took full advantage.
On Ennis’ third possession, Lewis found sophomore Kyle Guinyard for a 43-yard pass completion that set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Lee King just before the end of the first quarter to give the Lions an 11-0 lead.
Ennis scored 23 points in the second quarter, all of which came after University turnovers.
Lewis threw for 236 of his 246 yards in the first half while completing passes to five different receivers. Guinyard and Courtney Brooks were his favorite targets as the pair combined for 217 receiving yards and a touchdown.
“Chris had a great first half,” Harrell said. “He made some big throws and the receivers made some big catches. A lot of people didn’t know about Kyle (Guinyard), but we’ve known about him for a long time.”
Lewis, who started two games last season, completed 9 of 10 passes at one point of the first half.
“I couldn’t have drawn it up any better,” Lewis said of the season-opening win. “I couldn’t have had the night I had without the offensive line or the receivers. I threw some bad balls, but our receivers made some great catches. They made me look good.”
Ennis scored two more times in the third quarter to put the game out of reach for good. McDade, who already had two interceptions, had touchdown runs of 24 and 26 yards after taking over for Lewis midway through the third quarter.
The Lions host No. 2 Waco on Friday at Lion Stadium in Ennis.
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