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Lions win two of three to wrap up 7-on-7 summer action

Ennis wins 2 of 3 in 7 on 7 in Desoto
After a couple of sessions earlier this month, Lion football concluded its participation in 7-on-7 Tuesday in Desoto against the host team, along with Corsicana and Midlothian.
After watching Ennis go 2-1 on the evening, coach Bryan Clark wasn’t concerned with the scores so much as the Lions having a good time and making strides.
“This is a fun game for the kids to play and sometimes frustrating for the coaches because it’s not like 11-man football, but our guys get to work on fundamentals and compete instead of sitting around all summer,” Clark said.
“Our battle has been to play three consistent games in this heat and maintain a competitive edge. I’m glad we finished the last game [vs. Midlothian] well and really just had a bad [first] half against DeSoto.”
Each game was composed of two 20-minute halves with one or two-point conversions available. Every drive started 45 yards from paydirt.

Ennis 37
Corsicana 19
The Lions were never denied against the Tigers as quarterback D.J. Betik threw for 270 yards and six touchdowns. Kyle Guinyard had 10 grabs for 140 yards and three touchdowns, while Deonte McDade (7-66-0) and Charles Cox (4-18-2) also factored heavily into the victory.
Betik completed five of six passes on the opening drive, which ended on a five-yard Guinyard slant score. Corsicana answered with a three-play scoring drive and went up 7-6 on the conversion pass.
Betik then completed seven-straight passes to close the next drive as Cox scored on a cross from a yard out. Guinyard hauled in the conversion pass to go up 13-7; the only time Ennis made good on a conversion.
Once again, the Tigers easily scored in two plays, but D.J. Morris broke up the conversion for a 13-13 affair. Ennis responded with a three-play drive when Guinyard caught a 19-yarder and came right back with an outstanding 26-yard jumpball in the end zone (19-13). Though Corsicana tied the score at the end of the half, Jeremy Smith managed to break up the conversion pass.
“Morris has come a long way after a good spring and it’s been a good experience for him this summer competing against some talented receivers,” Clark said.
“Kyle’s catches are as good as you’re going to see anywhere. He’s really special and that’s why you throw it over there to him. You almost expect great plays every time.”
The Ennis defense was tremendous in the second half, beginning with a three and out as Guinyard and Xavier Tarrant broke up passes. Guinyard then caught three of four passes on the Lion scoring drive, capped off by a stellar 21-yard leaping grab in tight coverage (25-19).
While the Tigers opened their following drive with a 32-yard pass, Jason Minchew broke up passes on first and fourth down as Ennis made a stand. Blake Adams would catch the last two passes of the next Ennis scoring drive, including a seven-yard touchdown.
“Jason has been getting better every week after a great spring and he’s at his best with the pads on,” Clark said.
“Blake is still developing as a player and this summer was good for him as a guy who’ll play a lot this fall.”
McDade tallied a breakup and then a touchdown pass was nullified for taking too long as the Tigers couldn’t get past the 21 this time. A 19-yard Fred Carroll reception would help set up a three-yard Cox touchdown to finalize the score.
“Charles is a senior and it’s his time to get after it,” Clark said.
“It’s good to see him make some plays and know we can depend on him. Even out here, he showed he can take some shots and hold onto the ball. Defense is a struggle in 7-on-7, but to pitch a shutout for a whole half was pretty impressive and our guys were really focused.”

Ennis 27
DeSoto 45
The Lions showed some grit and actually won the second half, but DeSoto wasn’t far from perfect in the first half as it built a 26-6 lead. Guinyard (6-101-1) and McDade (6-96-3) really got loose in the second half to put up big numbers as Betik threw for 210 yards and four touchdowns.
Despite early breakups from Smith and Tarrant, the Eagles scored on fourth down from five yards out and went up 7-0 on a corner jumpball. After holding the Lions to a single first down, DeSoto scored on one play with a deep ball over the top (13-0). Following an Ennis three and out, the home team capped off a six-play drive with a 36-yard score and went up 20-0 with another corner jumpball.
“DeSoto is bigger, faster and playing straight man, so it’s tough to get open,” Clark said.
“It only makes us better and I thought the game really slowed down for us against Midlothian later on. Defensively, it’s tough being out there on an island when everybody knows they’re going to throw it and [DeSoto] still completes deep passes. We’ve just got to compete and try to make some adjustments.”
On third and long, Guinyard came up huge for Ennis with a 35-yard grab deep down the sideline. McDade followed with a 10-yard score to get his team on the board. The Eagles got some home cooking just before the half as one of their coaches let a 14-yard jumpball touchdown take place after time expired, but Will Pollan did break up the ensuing conversion attempt.
“This isn’t the Super Bowl, so we won’t let something like [the late score] ruin the whole day,” Clark said.
“It was good to see Will back from his injury and working hard.”
Showing no signs of raising the white flag, Ennis opened the second half with a 41-yard McDade catch as Betik made an outstanding throw down the middle between two defenders. Three plays later, McDade caught the touchdown and followed with a successful conversion (26-13).
“Deonte is another special player for us and DeSoto wasn’t going to be able to keep him down for long,” Clark said.
The Eagle offense didn’t waste much time answering, opening with a 36-yard pass. The Lion defense did force a fourth down, but the Eagles scored from a yard out as Tarrant broke up the conversion.
“Xavier was doing pretty well tonight and I’m excited to have him back in the corner rotation,” Clark said.
Betik was in a zone by this point as he hit Guinyard for 19 yards, McDade for 23 and then McDade for a three-yard score with a great lob over the defender. Guinyard grabbed a hard pass on an inside slant for a 32-20 score.
“Kyle and Deonte are our guys who can match DeSoto’s athleticism, so it was good to see them make big plays,” Clark said.
The DeSoto offense kept up its roll with a 45-yard touchdown bomb and successful conversion. Guinyard found separation deep to make a 25-yard catch and then followed a Cox grab with a 12-yard score where he outjumped the defender. McDade added another successful conversion as Betik lobbed the ball to him over a defender in the back corner (39-27).
The Eagles continued trying to pick on the Lions with deep passes and after a Pollan breakup, Smith won the battle on a jumpball with an interception in the end zone. Ennis then suffered its lone three and out of the second half as DeSoto finalized the score with a five-play touchdown march.
“That’s the life of a corner – have a short memory and bounce back,” Clark said.
“DeSoto was trying to work a mismatch with a big receiver, but Jeremy stayed strong and made a couple of big interceptions tonight. I thought we stepped it up in the second half and the offense played a lot better. If we’d have quit giving up the deep ball, we’d be in much better shape.”

Ennis 24
Midlothian 22
The score and stats from this game were skewed considering much of the second half was lost due to a collision that caused a player from each team to leave the field. Even so, Ennis did enough for the victory as Guinyard (3-72-2), McDade (4-44-0) and Cox (5-38-1) stayed busy. Betik threw for 190 yards and three touchdowns with his lone interception of the night.
Betik spread the ball around on the opening drive with completions to Adams and Cox before Tim Hearne gained 20 yards. Cox made a nice 11-yard scoring grab despite contact as Guinyard followed with the night’s first two-point conversion.
The Panthers answered with a seven-play drive as Morris broke up a pass to help bring up fourth down, but Midlothian scored from three yards out. Considering the final score, McDade came up huge on the conversion when he stopped the receiver a yard short.
A bit of controversy arose on the next drive as Ennis reached the five-yardline before a Panther made an interception on a tipped ball and sped down the sideline. Though Guinyard gave chase and seemed to touch him before midfield, Midlothian was awarded a touchdown and the conversion gave the blue team a 14-8 lead.
“In the previous game, they were blowing interceptions dead and obviously decided not to in this one,” Clark said.
“That’s just one of those things you move on from out here.”
The Panthers kept the ball and looked to blow the game open with a 23-yard pass to the end zone, but Smith stepped up once again with another interception. Ennis rolled to paydirt to regain the lead (16-14) as McDade caught a couple of balls and Guinyard capped it off with a 30-yard score, as well as a successful conversion. Betik had several stretches during the night where he turned the passing game into a well-oiled machine.
Minchew, Smith and Morris all broke up passes as the Panthers were denied before halftime.
“D.J. has always been accurate, but I’ve been impressed how his arm’s gotten stronger in the offseason,” Clark said.
“He’s working really hard to be a very good player.”
Ennis made the Panthers scratch and claw yet again during an eight-play drive to open the second half, but Midlothian scored on fourth down from a yard out (22-16). Betik engineered what would be the winning drive from there as Cox made a pair of grabs and then Guinyard scored one more time on a 28-yard stop and go with a successful McDade conversion.
The aforementioned collision shut down much of the remaining action, but when the Panthers resumed their drive looking to go ahead, a diving breakup from Guinyard sealed the deal.
“We just put Deonte and Kyle out there on defense and let them make plays,” Clark said.
“We’ll need them on both sides of the ball and it’s exciting to me as a defensive coach. They do a great job of breaking on the ball.
“I hope the guys had fun this month and it was good for them to work on some of our stuff. It only makes us better when the season rolls around.”

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Posted by on Jun 25 2008. Filed under Editorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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