No. 1 Ennis continues to roll

Lions to travel to North Forney on Thursday to decide district championship

Don Hullett
Daily Light correspondent

The juggernaut that is the 2020-2021 Ennis Lions (6-0 overall and 2-0 in district) is destroying any team in its pathway, at least, so far. The Jackrabbits from Forney (0-8 overall and 0-5 in district) had hoped to be a speed bump in the Lions’ way last Friday night at Lions Memorial Stadium.

Kickoff was scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start, but it was strangely delayed until 8:45 p.m. – as the officials from the Tyler Referees District could not seem to locate Ennis. Once they arrived and took the field, they were met with a loud ovation from both sides of the field. That was when the Jackrabbits’ chance for a victory (perhaps by way of a forfeit of some sort) went from slim to none as the game actually got underway.

Ennis took the opening kick off that has been their usual pattern for the entire year, and they did not waste any time getting into the end zone quickly and often. The Lions took only 2 plays from scrimmage to cover the the 50 yards to pay dirt, with RB De’ivian Johnson covering the last 45 yards for the score and Kicker Angel Aguilar adding the extra point. While Ennis continued to travel up and down the field at will, the Jackrabbits could not get past the Lions defense and were only able to have mustered 2 total yards by halftime.

The Lions continued their season-long streak by scoring multiple times in the opening quarter. WR/RB Devion Beasley was the next to score with a 2 yard plunge, that was followed by senior WR Nick Novy hauling in a 38 yard pass from senior quarterback Collin Drake (his first of 5 TD throws for the night), and the first quarter ended with senior WR Laylon Spencer striding into the end zone after snagging a 44 yard pass from Drake. Aguilar added the extra point for the scores.

The second quarter was much the same as the first, as the Lions continued to control the game and added 2 more touchdowns. The defense set up the fifth score of the evening for the Lions when they forced a Jackrabbit fumble at the Forney 27, and Ennis converted the turnover into another 6 points with a Drake to Beasley pass that covered 14 yards. This time, Kicker Abel Hernandez added the extra point. Ennis’ defense once again stopped the Jackrabbits in their tracks, and the Lions took over at their own 48 yard line. From there, it took 6 plays to cover the 52 yards, with Drake hooking up with WR Skylan Simmons from 29 yards out, and Aguilar added the 1-point conversion. The lone highlight for Forney came as the first half expired, when Cameron Newell kicked an outstanding 47 yard field goal, that made the score 42 to 3 in favor of Ennis.

Forney took the second half kick and proceeded to turn the ball over again, this time courtesy of an interception by DB De’ivian Johnson who returned it 45 yards for a touchdown (Hernandez extra point was good). The Lions defense once again forced Forney to punt and Ennis took over on their own thirty this time. It took Drake and company 6 plays to cover the 70 yards as the drive ended with Simmons pulling in a 7 yard pass for the TD (Drake’s fifth of the evening), and the extra point was added by Aguilar. Ennis scored once again after another interception by the defense, and this time it was senior DB Dacoby Sterling that returned the INT 28 yards to the Jackrabbit 18. Later, Senior RB Jacobie Collins scampered in from 7 yards out, with Hernandez adding the final Lions points for the evening. Forney was able to cash-in a touchdown late in the game, as they put together a 16 play, 76 yard drive that ended when Tyler Pruitt pushed in from 2 yards out and Newell added the extra point.

The Grand Marshal of the Lions’ parade was QB Collin Drake (17-23 for 226 yards passing and 5 touchdowns). Laylon Spencer led the receivers with 6 grabs for 102 yards and 1 score, Novy had 3 catches for 55 yards and a touchdown, Simmons with 4 receptions for 50 yards and 2 touchdowns, and the receiving was rounded out by Devion Beasley (3-35 and 1 TD) and Karon Smith (2-29 with 1 reception going for 6 points). De’ivian Johnson took part in the rushing group with 3-54 yards and 1 score. Beasley and Collins also added TDs.

Ennis will travel to North Forney (7-0 overall and 4-0 in district) to play this Thursday night at 7 p.m. This battle should be a good test for the two teams, as both are boasting a perfect season record thus far.