No. 1 Ennis crushes Mansfield Summit

Don Hullett
Daily Light correspondent

ENNIS — In a week that again shows how crazy things can get in 2020 football, the Ennis Lions had their game against Sulphur Springs canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions. That led them to scramble around to find another team to play as a fill-in. Somehow, Mansfield Summit, that is in 5A – Division 1, accepted the request. After Thursday night’s game in Ennis, ummit might be re-thinking that hasty decision.

While Summit scored on their first drive of the game to go up 7-0, Ennis then got down to business and showed what the No. 1-ranked 5A Division II team in the state is supposed to play like. Led by senior quarterback Collin Drake and an ever-growing supporting cast, Ennis left no doubt by scoring the last 63 out of 82 points in the game to win, with a final decisive score of 63-26.

Drake completed 12 out of 19 pass attempts for 230 yards and 3 touchdowns. Junior running back De’Ivian Johnson helped out with 7 carries for 47 yards, with 2 trips to the end zone. Not to be outdone, junior running back Devion Beasley pounded out 12 yards on 9 carries for 2 touchdowns.

Senior receiver Laylon Spencer and sophomore receiver Jace Berry led the Lions in catches, with Spencer having 6 grabs for 135 yards and 2 TDs and Berry ended with 4 receptions for 58 yards and 1 TD.

At this time, Ennis will finally jump into actual district play, as they will host the Royse City Bulldogs next Friday, Oct. 30, at 7:30 p.m. at Lion Memorial Stadium.

District 4-5A (I): Midlothian 49, Birdville 14

The Midlothian Panthers showed few signs of rustiness following an almost three-week layoff as they rushed for 479 yards, got three interceptions and a blocked field goal by Riley Angel, and claimed a homecoming victory over Birdville on Thursday night at MISD Multipurpose Stadium in the district opener for both teams.

The Panthers (3-0, 1-0) have scored 49 points in all three of their wins so far this year.

Twelve different ballcarriers touched the pigskin for MHS, led by sophomore De’ago Benson, who finished with 162 yards and a touchdown on only four carries. Ethan Hill, Nick de los Santos and Dillon Lampkins also rushed for scores in the first half, and de los Santos passed to David Smith for a score as the Panthers went into halftime with a 35-0 lead. Homecoming king Branton Huffman and Vincent Rabozzi also rushed for fourth-quarter TDs.

Birdville (1-1, 0-1) averted a shutout with two touchdowns in the final 2:33 of the game. Sophomore Gracien Anto carried 21 times for 206 yards to lead the Hawks.

The Panthers hadn’t played since Oct. 2 because of a COVID-related cancellation and an open date, but MHS quickly dispelled any idea of sluggishness. The Panthers opened the game with a scoring drive set up by a 50-yard Benson run and capped by a de los Santos keeper, then set the tone for the rest of the night with a goal-line stand at the 1-yard line.

Facing first-and-goal after Birdville’s Anto broke a 76-yard run, MHS’ defense — with plays made by Bryce Starlin, Marcus McLemore and Kaleb Tompkins — stopped four straight runs and took over on downs at the 2.

— Bill Spinks