Wolves too much for Lions again

Timberview cuts Ennis’ football season short for second year in a row in 5A Division II area round

Don Hullett
Daily Light correspondent
The Ennis Lions take the field for the final time in 2021. The Lions' season ended on Friday night with a 42-21 loss to Mansfield Timberview in the Class 5A Division II area round at Lumpkins Stadium.

Last Friday night at Lumpkins Stadium in Waxahachie it was round 2 of the newborn rivalry between the Lions from Ennis and the massive hoard from Mansfield Timberview. Ennis jumped out early but eventually succumbed to the constant bruising runs and quickness from the Tarrant County boys by a score of 42-21.

Last year Ennis met up with Timberview in Midlothian in the 2020 area round game in the state playoffs and the Lions played well until the size and physicality on the Timberwolves team took its toll and the Lions were left to deal with an unexpected early exit from the playoffs.

This year it was much the same with the exception of Mansfield having lost 4 games this year as compared to 1 last year. Ennis entered the game with the same record as last year and had hoped that lessons learned from last year had prepared them and put in a confident state of mind going into the game.

The Lions defense held the Wolves to a three and out and after the MTHS punt Ennis set up on their own 36 after a penalty negated a Ashton Ehly punt return that he also broke for a touchdown. That would have been his 3rd return for a TD in the past 3 games. It took Ennis 1 play to shock the visitors as Jackson Gilkey hooked up with T.T. Cox for a 64-yard catch and run to put the Lions on the board quickly. Eric Acosta’s kick was good for a 7-0 lead with over 10 minutes to go in the first quarter.

Timberview took the following kick and started their plan A (according to their QB Jaeden Marshall). It took 12 plays that covered 78 yards for the Wolves to even the score when Marshall scampered into the end zone from 16 yards out and with the extra point by Caden Obholz the score was tied.

The Lions were forced to punt on their next possession and Gilkey was able to pin Mansfield down at their own 5 yard line. This time with the exception to 2 completed pass from Marshall to Cemarion Chambliss for 18 and 26 yards this was “Shock and Awe” and it was provided by Jarvis Reed and Marshall. Reed thundered in from the 17 and with the Obholz kick, Timberview was ahead to stay at 14 to 7.

Jace Berry for the Lions returned the kickoff 53 yards and Ennis was in business at MTHS’ 20-yard line. Dee Johnson sprinted 3 yards around left end for the score and with the Allen Hernandez PAT we were back even at 14 all.

Timberview closed out the scoring for the opening half when they had a 6-play, 46-yard drive that ended when Marshall collected his second TD of the night, this time from 5 yards and Obholz was perfect again and the first half ended with Ennis down 21-14 and getting the ball to start the second half.

Ennis was not able to take advantage of it opening possession as now Gilkey was facing heavy pressure anytime he dropped back to pass and when he was not sacked he was hit and that it appeared started taking its toll. Timberview had the only touchdown in the third frame as Reed capped off an 8-play, 56-yard possession when he bulldozed his way in from 1 yard out, Obholz with the PAT. Third quarter ended with Ennis down 28 to 14.

Timberview scored twice in the fourth to put the game away as Marshall found Titus Evans with a 15-yard TD pass and then Cameron Bates took the pigskin to market from 16 yards out, Obholz added both PATs.

The Lions did not quit at any point of the game and showed pride and resolve as they closed out the scoring for the night when Johnson collected his last touchdown as a member of the Ennis Lions when broke away for a 19-yard run, and the Acosta kick was good to make then final 42-21.

As the Lions headed home after another successful season that was ended way too early, the group from Mansfield earned the right to face the No. 2 team in the 5A Division II state rankings, the Lovejoy Leopards.

The Lions were headed by Gilkey with 9 completions out of 16 attempted and 1 touchdown. Johnson ended the game with 22 carries for 130 yards and 2 TD’s. On the receiving end, Cox had 3 grabs for 136 yards and 1 TD and freshman Gracen Harris finished off his outstanding first year with 6 catches for 29 yards.