FRISCO — The Lions of Ennis came roaring into The Star at Frisco on Friday afternoon, to do what they have purposed to do since last summer’s beginning training sessions — to go deep into the playoffs this year.

They were excited for raccoon huntin’ season to begin Friday, and as the game turf dust settled, the Lions had soundly defeated the Frisco Raccoons by the final score of 17-0. And when defense is king, the rest of it all seemed to fall into place. One of the biggest factors in their victory was the Ennis “D”, who was responsible for three turnovers in their favor for the night.

The Lions knew that coming into their match, Frisco had been averaging 363 yards total offense (per game), and they had averaged rushing for 252 yards (per game). The Lions defense was determined to turn those records into useless numbers. In fact, the Raccoons had been scoring a robust 39 points per game, but they would come away with zero on that day, ending their season with an 11-2 record.

But just like Ennis had done against Frisco Reedy (34-0) two weeks earlier, they cramped-down on “old” Frisco High School and made the entire game a defensive struggle to allow the Raccoons to only limited opportunities to score. The E-defense held FHS to only 147 yards of total offense, and 39 of that was rushing.

The first half was ultimately a defensive battle that kept both sidelines and the crowds anxious for a score. Ennis’ kicker Angel Aguilar had missed a 44-yard field goal earlier in the second quarter, with a low, unsuccessful attempt for the first points of the game.

As the half was about to expire, head coach Sam Harrell was leaning on “going for it” on a fourth-and-22 situation. Aguilar approached Harrell and asked if he could have a chance to redeem himself, so onto the field ran their kicker, and the result was a 40-yard kick through the uprights (that would have been good from 50) as the game clock ended the half. Score: 3-0, Ennis.

In the second half, the Lions offensive started wearing down the defense of the Raccoons. Great “D” play makers for EHS were: Dane Vernor (LB), Payton Chapman (LB), Ashton McGraw (DL), Stephon Townsend (DB — interception), Cam’Ren Stevens (DB — interception), Caden Hubbard (LB — fumble recovery), Devion Beasley (DB), Isaiah Nies (LB), and Michael Markgraf (DL).

Most of the night, Ennis’ outstanding wide receiver Layton Spencer had struggled, as FHS’ backs had been on him like glue. Finally, the acrobatic Spencer made a dazzling catch in the end zone for an 11-yard pass completion and touchdown. That was the only scoring in the third stanza of the game. P.A.T. was good by Aguilar. Score: 10-0.

The Ennis offense continued to gain momentum as the contest progressed. The Lions had 20 first downs for the game, as compared to the Raccoons' 8. On third down conversions, EHS was 8 of 17, and Frisco was 1 of 9.

The final score of the fourth quarter (and for the game) was a 12-yard scamper by RB Dyllan Santos into the end zone — leaving a host of would-be tacklers behind. Ennis nailed the coffin shut with the final touchdown and P.A.T. by Aguilar.

The Lions will be back at the Ford Center in Frisco on Friday with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff against Aledo, the state champions 7 out of the last 10 years in the 4A and 5A classifications. Unarguably, two of the best football teams in 5A Division II for the state of Texas will go head-to-head this Friday evening.

Ennis stats

Passing

Player Comp Att Pct Yds TD INT

Collin Drake 13 24 54.17 114 1 0

Rushing

Player Att Yds Yds/Att TD

Collin Drake 20 87 4.35 0

Jarius Jones 10 37 3.70 0

Dyllan Santos 7 27 3.86 1

Karon Smith 4 24 6.00 0

Devion Beasley 2 4 2.00 0

Azain Brown 1 4 4.00 0

Receiving

Player Rec Yds Yds/Catch TD

Laylon Spencer 6 55 9.2 1

Dyllan Santos 1 27 27.0 0

Karon Smith 3 16 5.3 0

Azain Brown 1 12 12.0 0

Clayton Jenkins 2 4 2.0 0